Tackling Climate Change 60 Kiwi Businesses at a Time

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When it comes to tackling climate change it’s often hard to know where to start, it’s such a massive subject and it’s easy to get lost in all that it entails. Communication around it seems to come in ebbs and flows as well, and as a business we have always tried to maintain the ‘flows’, as sustainability, lowering our carbon emissions and reducing our carbon footprint have been long-term goals of ours. But we still ask ourselves what else can we do to make a difference, and even though we recently became re-certified as a CEMARS certified business and have been certified for 8 years now (read our blog post), it’s still a work in progress and it’s a constant, ever-evolving process for us.

However, it’s good to know we are not alone in this process, and in July of this year we signed up to the Climate Leaders Coalition with 60 other like-minded businesses. At the time, those of us who signed up made up 22% of New Zealand’s private sector GDP and approximately half of New Zealand’s gross emissions and in signing up, we each agreed to commit to measuring and reporting our greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to keep global warming within two degrees, as specified by the United Nations initiative the Paris Agreement

Representing a variety of sectors from across New Zealand, when we first signed up to the coalition there were 60 of us, but now it’s up to 70 members and is continuing to grow which is fantastic! It seems more and more of us are standing up and saying let’s make a change now so that our future generations can live in a world where they thrive. The challenge now is for all of us to stay committed, keep working at it and not let it fall to the wayside. It’s certainly something we intend to uphold and live by, we are even in the process of developing our 2050 plan founded on science based targets and due to be released in the new year. So let’s encourage others to do the same because if we protect and strengthen the realms of the land and water, they will sustain and strengthen the people  - toitu te marae a tane toitu te marae a tangaroa toitu te iwi.

For more pictures from the Climate Leaders Coalition launch or for more information on the coalition itself, visit their website. For more information on our resolutions and commitments to sustainability read our environmental policy.

 

NZ Coastal Society Annual Conference

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The New Zealand Coastal Society is a New Zealand organisation that brings engineers, scientists, local bodies, iwi, planners, policymakers and anyone with an interest in our coastline together to learn and discuss better ways to manage the threats and opportunities that face our coasts and marine environment.

Every year they hold an annual conference that society members are invited to attend and we are thrilled to have a number of 4Sight staff representing us at the conference in Gisborne this year. Our own Sam Morgan has also been heavily involved as Co-chair for the event.

With presentations from key note speakers Dr Terry Hume, Dr Nicola Litchfield and Martin Bayley, this year’s conference focus is on ‘crossing the water’ or whiti i te wai which refers to Captain Cooks landing at Gisborne’s three rivers and the impact it had on the local people at the time and in the years that followed. It will look at the past and present and what the future looks like for the area, and in turn, should give conference goers a better understanding of all peoples connections to the land and waters of Tairawhiti.

Here at 4Sight we are continuing to build our skill set in the coastal management space to further contribute to coastal issues across the country. We are an enthusiastic team of experienced professionals including Ecologists, Coastal Scientists, Landscape Architects, and Planners who work alongside a range of external professionals to achieve the best outcomes for our coast. Check out our team of Planners and Ecologists to find out more about their areas of expertise.

Meet Movember Hero Xander Riekert

We have a lot of Mo heroes in our office this Movember, each with their own story, but as promised we want to introduce you to Xander Riekert and tell you a bit about his commitment to the cause.

You could say it was with great trepidation that Xander walked across the road to Maloney’s Barber last week to make one of the biggest changes to his appearance in years - shaving off his beard. Pictured below being escorted, supported (comforted even?) by one of 4Sight’s Directors, Mike Lindgreen, another avid supporter of Movember and Mo hero, it was no easy feat for him to say goodbye to that beard of his.

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Once at the barber, it all became very real for Xander but hey, all in the name of the cause right? And we thought rather than explain the entire process to you, we would let you watch it for yourselves - check it out:

As the title of video suggests, this is commitment to the cause and Xander, like the rest of us here at 4Sight, are committed to generating awareness for men’s health this month - we’re walking the talk.

If you’d like to join us in supporting Movember, check out our Movember page for more information and to see how you can donate to the cause, every little bit counts!

Lights, camera, resource consent!

4Sight is famous! Not really… but our talented team at 4Sight has been helping some other big name talent recently.

Heard of the Kiwi novelist Eleanor Catton? Well the hype around her bestselling, Man-Booker prize winning novel, The Luminaries, has been rekindled with the announcement of a BBC six-part TV series to be filmed here in New Zealand, and we were engaged to help its producers secure an Auckland film location and attain resource consent.

With former Bond girl, Eva Green, playing the main character, and New Zealand actor, Marton Csokas, from The Lord of the Rings playing the leading male, the book is set on the rugged West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island during the 1860s gold rush. And although the film will not be filmed in the South Island, it’s thanks to the perseverance of our amazing team that the film received resource consent in a timely manner and the crew were able to commence filming in Central and West Auckland this November.

Well done team! Check out the article on the New Zealand Film Commission website for more information on the TV series.

https://www.nzfilm.co.nz/news/casting-announced-luminaries-production-commence-nz-november

It's officially mo' season!

Well it’s the second day of Movember (or November as it’s more formerly known to muggles or should we say mo’ggles) and it was full steam ahead yesterday (literally) to get it all underway. We have a number of Mo heroes in our office taking part this year, but there was one hero in particular, Xander Riekert, who went the whole hog by trimming, steaming and shaving his whole beard for the cause and for the first time in years – maybe you saw our Instagram or Facebook page? We will introduce you to him later, but firstly it’s important for us to explain why we support a cause like Movember.

Land. People. Water. It’s our tagline, our philosophy and at the heart of everything we do and true to that, the people here at 4Sight play a central role, not only in the actions we take, but in 4Sight’s identity. It’s paramount to us that we provide them with the support they need to thrive in our communities and we’re all about walking the talk too, so we are committed to it, it’s one of our key resolutions. With this in mind, it only seems right for us to support Movember, a cause that does just that by generating awareness and acting as a conversation starter for men’s health issues. And although it’s a fun and light-hearted way to get us talking about it, particularly when it comes to topics like mental health, prostate cancer and testicular cancer which are hard ones to bring up, at its core, the real message is for us to let the men in our lives know that it’s ok to ask for help or to act upon health concerns they have - this message is crucial. We intend to keep it at the forefront of everything we do this Movember, while having some fun along the way, but in the meantime we’d like to introduce you to some of our Mo heroes:

We will keep you posted on their journey throughout the month and if you’re keen to find out more or donate to the cause, check out our Movember page.

Don’t miss the next exciting blog installment where we will relive Xander’s journey to a smooth face at Maloney’s Barbershop!

4Sight Supports the Environmental Compliance Conference

4Sight is proud to be supporting the 2018 Environmental Compliance Conference with our very own Emma Comrie-Thomson serving on the Organising Committee again this year.

The conference comprises of two full days of practical learning, a field trip, an exhibition and workshops all with a focus on tactical solutions to compliance problems and opportunities in New Zealand.

This year’s conference has a line-up of great speakers including keynotes from Sir Peter Gluckman, Hon. Nanaia Mahuta and Judge David Kirkpatrick.  Conference goers can also choose which sessions they would like to attend as presentation topics will be organised into three streams.

The conference is to be held in Auckland from the 14th to the 16th of November 2018.

Check out the Environmental Compliance Conference website for more information: www.environmentalcomplianceconference.org

CEMARS Re-Certification and Cake!

 Alice Andrew, Caroline Attwooll and our CEMARS Account Manager Helene Pacalin

Alice Andrew, Caroline Attwooll and our CEMARS Account Manager Helene Pacalin

The Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (or CEMARS) is something we have been a part of for the past 8 years and yesterday, we were re-certified as a CEMARS certified business.

CEMARS is a certification programme available in 17 countries that helps businesses measure their operation emissions e.g. business travel, electricity and vehicles, and then provides them with the tools and support necessary to reduce them. Companies are then regularly audited to ensure they are meeting best practice and continuing to reduce their emissions.

Lowering carbon emissions in the workplace is a full time commitment and we’ve been actively working towards reducing our carbon emissions since the birth of 4Sight. When we first started working on our carbon reduction plan, we did all the small stuff e.g. reminding staff to turn off the lights and minimising our waste by recycling and composting as much as we could, and then, once we joined CEMARS, we were able to begin quantifying the amount of emissions we were actually generating and identify efficiencies and cost savings.

We are still working towards reducing our carbon emissions and have even added an electric vehicle to our fleet, but we have remained a CEMARS certified business all these years, so we think we’re on the right track.

We are proud to be a part of it and we even got a congratulatory cake from CEMARS when they awarded us our certificate and anyone who gives us a cake is alright in our book, but most importantly, anyone that helps us keep New Zealand cleaner, greener and more sustainable gets a big tick from us.

So we will continue to work on reducing our carbon emissions, not just in the workplace but we intend to in our homes as well - what will you do?

New Beginnings 4Sight Acquires Burton Planning Consultants

When we first opened our doors in 2001, we had no idea we would be where we are today - growing at 24% for the last 4 years, our teams expanding, our areas of expertise increasing and our team constantly reaching new levels of excellence. But when we take a step backwards to reflect upon the last 17 years, we often ask ourselves how did we get here?

It’s no secret we strongly believe in our land, water and people, and when we take care of our land and water, our people thrive. But we’d like to take a moment to focus on our people. A team of 65 passionate individuals, who are constantly striving to achieve balanced outcomes for our clients and the environment, and without whom, we don’t think we’d be where we are or who we are today.

So, when the opportunity presented itself earlier this year to partner with more likeminded people, whose expertise and values were in line with our own, we leapt at the chance. And it’s with great pleasure that we announce a new stage in our business development with the acquisition of Burton Planning Consultants who will be officially joining the 4Sight team at the start of October 2018.

A close-knit team, whose director’s Karen Blair and David Le Marquand have worked together since 1995, they too specialise in planning and resource consent management and have over 30 years’ experience in the industry. But looking to expand the business and provide their staff with greater opportunities, without investing in the resources that such growth necessitates, they were at a crossroads as to where to next. And after evaluating their options, the one that resulted in the best outcome for them, their clients and their staff, was this one. Because as Dave and Karen have emphasised throughout this entire process, irrespective of how they feel or what they think, what really matters is the level and quality of service provided to their clients and the happiness and satisfaction of their staff.

A measured decision for both parties, they respected us, who we are, our work ethic and our views on sustainability. We respected their expertise, vast experience, how they dealt with their clients and most importantly, the fact that we were on the same page.

It’s a new beginning for Burton Planning Consultants who have told us they feel rejuvenated by the acquisition. And it may be a new beginning for them, but we are looking back, back to their huge amount of knowledge and experience and how invaluable this will be to our team. And with their extensive experience in the oil, gas and energy sectors, we are particularly excited by the prospect of possibly achieving a long-term goal of ours to become a key player in New Zealand’s sustainable energy evolution.

Next steps for us here at 4Sight – keep searching for the best people, because it’s the people that make us what we are and will ultimately make us the best in our industry. And who knows, maybe one day we will be able to solve not just New Zealand’s environmental issues, but the world’s from right here in New Zealand.

Auckland Waterfront Transformation Given the Green Light for 2021 America's Cup

Transforming Auckland’s Waterfront to be America’s Cup ready was given the go ahead on Tuesday by the Environment Court and we are particularly thrilled to have played a key part in the decision.

In late 2017, we were engaged by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, New Zealand Major Events (MBIE) and Panuku Development Auckland (Panuku) (the economic development arm of the Auckland Council) to peer review the proposed 36th America’s Cup Location Decision reports - prior to lodgement of the associated resource consent applications.

As the location for the proposed America’s Cup Village was on sites currently housing facilities for operating and storing hazardous substance tanks, 4Sight performed a gap analysis between the Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) reports and NZ’s adopted international best practice base line. We also undertook a desk-top evaluation of risk, based on the absence of control measures, rather than the controls and assumptions used in the projects QRA. In addition to this, we also carried out an environmental assessment and impact study which peer reviewed the supplied environmental assessment reports to ascertain assumptions, including risk profiling the severity and potential exposure to sources of harm to people and environment associated with land redevelopment. 4Sight then performed a semi-quantitative risk assessment, based on mandatory controls for the respective classes of dangerous goods and associated processing systems.

The work carried out by 4Sight, ultimately assisted in the streamlining of the design for this area of development and most importantly, minimised the risk of hazardous substances to the event.

EIANZ Managed Retreat Event 27 September

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We’d like to invite you to the EIANZ’s Managed Retreat event held at 4Sight’s Auckland office on 27 September 2018.

A session on how climate change is increasing the risk of coastal hazards in New Zealand, our own Sam Morgan will be presenting along with Paul Klinac, the Team Manager for Coastal and Geotechnical Services at Auckland Council.

Both presenters will be discussing the concept of a ‘Managed Retreat’, its use in New Zealand, lessons learned from its use and how it will be used to reduce the risk of coastal hazards going forward.

If you’re interested in attending, please register by following the link below: 

https://www.eianz.org/events/event/auckland-branch-event-managed-retreat-something-lost-or-something-gained

Time: 5-7pm

Date: Thursday, 27 September 2018

Where: 4Sight Consulting, 201 Victoria Street West, Auckland Central

Cost: EIANZ members - $10, EIANZ Student members - Free, Non-members - $15

RSVP: Register for the event by following the link above.

 

NOTE: Numbers are limited so please RSVP as soon as possible to ensure your seat

New Zealand - Cleaner, Greener and Lower in Emissions

 Photo by Keren Bennett

Photo by Keren Bennett

It was with great pride that we became signatories of the Climate Leaders’ Coalition in July of this year, joining forces with 60 other like-minded businesses from across New Zealand to work towards changing behaviours in the workplace, and everyday life, in order to reach a collective goal of reducing New Zealand’s emissions and ultimately a cleaner, greener New Zealand. 

But is it possible for the rest of New Zealand and the New Zealand government to take action and change a long-standing mindset? To support a low emissions economy where people still prosper? The Productivity Commission thinks so.  Yesterday, they released their Low Emissions Economy Report outlining a number of recommendations as to how government can implement and possibly achieve just that - a lower emissions economy.  

According to the report, this is something that needs to happen sooner rather than later, and if we don’t move fast, New Zealand runs the risk of remaining in its current status quo – one that is not sustainable, and is costly to the government.  

The report found that there were three key actions that need to take place in order for us to attain a lower emissions economy: 

•    Stop burning fossil fuels and switch to electricity and other low emission energy sources. Here at 4Sight we quantify our emission intensity as we grow, and have already started transitioning our 4Sight fleet vehicles to electric ones. 


•    Undertake substantial levels of afforestation a.k.a plant more trees. An interesting (and slightly out-of-the-box) afforestation project we are currently working on is the Hundertwasser Arts Centre Living Roof. Click here to read more.


•    Make changes to the way we farm our land. We agree! We are mindful of this in the projects we are working on in the rural sector. 


So where to from here? The government needs to form a robust and thorough climate change framework, modify the current Emissions Trading Scheme and throw as many resources as they can into the development of lower emissions initiatives. There’s a lot to be done, considering New Zealand has also committed to its first “Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement to reduce its emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030” (according to the Low Emissions Economy Report).

We’re all for making it a reality though and if you’re interested in what we are doing to take action against climate change, check out our commitments page here.  We would also highly recommend you check out the Low Emissions Economy Report (all 620 pages of it!), or if you’re short on time, head over to the Productivity Commission website where there is an overview of the report, plus a video highlighting its crucial messages. If you’re interested in finding out more on the Climate Leaders Coalition, visit their website www.climateleaderscoalition.org.nz and see how you can become a member too. 


This is close to our hearts here at 4Sight, as we are founded on ensuring better outcomes for land, water and people, and it will take all of us to make this happen. Our final thoughts - if we sustain our land and water, our people will thrive. 
 

Living Roofs a growing phenomenon?

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Zoë Avery, our very own Senior Planning, Landscape and Urban Design Rockstar here at 4Sight, recently spoke to Idealog magazine about the growing phenomenon that is living roofs.  According to Zoë,  “Living roofs have not taken off in Aotearoa – yet!”, but she hopes that her work on the living roof for the Hundertwasser Art Centre and Wairau Māori Art Gallery in Whangarei will be a step in the right direction. 
 
With over 100 native and over 60,000 plants going into the living roof, its purpose is to not only create a beautiful, tranquil space for locals, but to celebrate and reflect the unique history, culture and landscape that is specific to Aotearoa. 
 
To read the full article and find out more about Zoë’s work with living roofs in New Zealand, click here.

To read more about our work on the Hundertwasser Art Centre and Wairau Māori Art Gallery, click here.

Driving the Sustainability Agenda

A sustainable future for NZ isn’t going to happen without business action, which is why we have been members of the Sustainable Business Council (SBC) for over a decade. Check out our manifesto - Working together for a better future: a partnership platform for business and government

We joined the SBC over a decade ago when we were only roughly one 7th of the size we are now so that we could help influence change and have our voice heard by government. 

Today there are over 86 members, including many of New Zealand’s largest businesses and together we represent more than a quarter of New Zealand’s private sector GDP - $66 billion collective turnover! 

The SBC members advocate for a better way of doing business. All members have made a commitment to the balanced pursuit of economic growth, environmental integrity and social progress within a business context, and to report on their progress. This includes measuring and reducing their carbon footprint and influencing the wider business community through their supply chains.

The manifesto outlines where we see opportunities for business to best collaborate with the next government, and why it is important to us.


 

Papa Pounamu Event 19 June

Tēnā koutou katoa,

Papa Pounamu and 4Sight would like to invite you to an evening presentation from Dr Jacob Otter about Improving the Assessment of Mana Whenua Cultural Values and Interests: An
Auckland Council Research project.

Auckland Council has been researching how mana whenua values and interests are
included and assessed in resource management and planning processes with a view to
improving the effectiveness of these assessments, and exploring the benefits such inclusion
has for Tāmaki. The presentation provides an overview of this research project, including its
co-governance arrangements; data collection with planners, mana whenua, and consultants;
interim findings; and potential outputs from the research.

Time: Presentation 6pm – 7pm (pre-drinks and nibbles start at 5:30pm)
Date: Tuesday, 19 June 2018
Where: 4Sight Consulting, 201 Victoria Street West, Auckland Central
RSVP: Please confirm your attendance by email to Sammy - samanthaw@4sight.co.nz or call 09 3030311

NOTE: Numbers are limited so please RSVP as soon as possible to ensure your seat

Shifting Sands

 Image Source: Stuff.co.nz

Image Source: Stuff.co.nz

A 17m long schooner has been uncovered at the northern end of Muriwai Beach following a big swell event late last week and reasonably large tides early this week. As impressive as this erosion is and what it has uncovered, the point many of us wouldn't think about is the amount of sand that must have deposited here to cover the whole thing up. Those of us familiar with the NZ's northern west coast might be less surprised by this. 

NZ's west coast is one of the highest energy coasts in the world, regularly receiving large swell from strong low pressure systems that circulate across the Southern Ocean. The stretch of coast from Taranaki north is characterised by wide dissipative beaches with sand supplied from eroding cliffs, rivers and streams that empty the North Island Volcanic Plateau. This is thought to result in large pulses of sand that travel up the coast delivering sediment to the many vast stretches of beach and the bar features associated with harbours such as the Manukau and Kaipara.

This can lead to periods of extreme accretion and erosion along the coast with one of the best examples being the piece of shoreline between Whatipū and Karekare beaches west of Auckland. Roughly 100 years ago there was a rail line running across the base of a cliff that was regularly attacked by waves. This same piece of coast now sits behind a series of wetlands and dunes that extend out more than a kilometer in places.

 Image Source: natlib.govt.nz

Image Source: natlib.govt.nz

This can lead to an array of unique management challenges which in reality may not be able to be addressed by more traditional means. One such example Sam Morgan was involved with was the retreat of infrastructure from the southern end of Muriwai Beach after an erosion phase of roughly 40-50 years. On the other end of the spectrum are the issues that arise from accretion at Piha Beach (10-15 km south of Muriwai) which has seen between 700,000 to 1 million cubic meters of sand deposited on the beach over the same time frame. This accretion has lead to dune management issues as the sand encroaching into carpark areas and blocking views for groups such as the Surf Life Saving Clubs. This has also resulted in small changes within the beach system such as the impoundment of lagoons and modifying stream direction, which lead to erosion threatening roading assets. 


Dealing with these issues requires bespoke management approaches, and in the case of Piha, you can read more about how we dealt with it here.
 

How it all went - Coastal Engineering Challenges in a Changing World

The Coastal Society event held last Thursday night in the 4Sight Offices was a great success. Thanks to Dr Steven Hughes from Colorado, who is visiting New Zealand as part of the Fulbright Specialist Program, in conjunction with the University of Auckland and NZ Coastal Society.

It was good to discuss the challenges around present-day coastal engineering, with other passionate professionals in the region. Dr Steven Hughes talk was videoed and live streamed, we will be adding a link a little later on.

The invisible challenges of urban ecological restoration projects

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A keen, engaged community.  A desire to restore their natural environment.  All of the components needed to deliver lasting and meaningful ecological and social outcomes?
 

We know that cities provide important biological, cultural and social values and function, despite their highly urbanised nature. They are a home we share with a wide variety of plants and animals. There is growing shift of community expectation, connection and action towards the restoration and enhancement of urban ecology to balance the impacts of past development and future growth.  

Community groups and stakeholders provide a key conduit to a wider-pool of community resource and knowledge, and can bring those additional benefits only gained by community-based projects where learning is enabled, knowledge is shared, and a community spirit and connection is grown. 

However, a lack of planning, coordination or on-going focus can lead to a loss of outcome or support. 

At this year’s New Zealand Recreational Association Conference, Senior Ecologist Tony Payne will be presenting a case study for Senior Planner Simon Karl's presentation, on the Orewa Estuary Te Ara Tahuna Community Restoration Plan. The plan was delivered for, and with the community, supported by the Auckland Council Biodiversity Team, Hibiscus and Bays Local Board and Forest and Bird.

From conception, the Plan was intended to develop lasting interactions between community groups and provide an easy to understand, and easy to implement, means of enhancing the 12km coastal margin surrounding the Orewa Estuary.

At our presentation, we will discuss our approach towards community liaison, delving into the ecological and social context of the area, and how we developed the plan, so the community could understand what ecological restoration and monitoring activities are needed, and importantly, their role in delivering them. 

Ultimately, the Plan reflects the local community’s interests, providing information, advice and the tools needed to deliver matauranga maori, animal pest control, environmental weed control, restoration planting, bird monitoring and mangrove management.

Drawing on recent project examples, Tony and Simon will explore several pitfalls and challenges associated with riparian ecological restoration works around our cities and discuss how these can be avoided or managed so that communities can continue to work together to achieve great things.
 

 

NZCS Auckland Regional Event - Coastal Engineering Challenges in a Changing World

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As active people on an island nation, New Zealanders have a strong connection to the coast. It is a place we run, walk, fish, sail, swim, surf, paddle and simply enjoy the sense of freedom offered by the small space between the environment we are accustom to and the ocean. This leads to strong passions and opinions about how we all use and share this prized space. This passion contributes to the unique challenges in coastal management across all of New Zealand, with our differing opinions contributing to a continuing discourse on how best to manage this precious fringe. 

The 4Sight team is continuing to build its skill set in the coastal management space with the intent of being able to further contribute to these issues across the whole country. We are an enthusiastic team of experienced professionals including ecologists, coastal scientists and planners who work alongside a range of external professionals to achieve the best outcomes for our coast. Sam Morgan recently joined the 4Sight team with the intent on contributing and building the team further in the coastal management space. His commitment to this is reflected in his involvement with the New Zealand Coastal Society both regionally and nationally. 

Sam is currently organising a seminar to be held at the 4Sight Auckland office. Dr Steven Hughes is visiting New Zealand as part of the Fulbright Specialist Program, in conjunction with the University of Auckland. This seminar is also generously supported by the New Zealand Coastal Society, NZCS. This seminar first presents a few observations about present-day coastal engineering, and then focusses on four challenges that will be faced by the coastal engineering profession in the near future: (1) responding to climate change; (2) maintaining the knowledge base; (3) advocating for coastal engineering; and (4) learning from coastal engineering practitioners.  How we, as a community respond to these challenges, will define coastal engineering well into the future.  

When: 10th May 2018 - 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Location: 4Sight Consulting, 201 Victoria Street West, Auckland Central
RSVP: samanthaw@4sight.co.nz  by May the 4th.

TEDxTutukākā - Tapuwae: Footprints in Our Sand

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Zoë Avery and Renée Davies were two inspiring speakers chosen to share their “great idea” to 100 delegates at the first TEDxTutukākā event held on 7 April.  The theme of the of the event was Tapuwae - Footprints in Our Sand.  Zoë and Renée spoke about designing living roofs to maximise benefits for the built environment, people and nature. Explaining a local example, Hundertwasser Art Centre and Wairau Maori Art Gallery, where they have had the privilege of working alongside a large and dedicated group of people to champion a living roof project in Whangarei.

TEDxTutukākā later posted on their Facebook page "My favourite bit was when...."  for the 2018 event, where a delegate Kirsty responded "For me, it was when Renee & Zoë put up their beautiful slide showing what Whangarei CBD COULD look like - with a green and vibrant heart - and there was a collective quiet 'Ooooo' from the audience and someone close to me said 'That's what we need'" and another delegate responding “Same Kirsty. What a beautiful vision these 2 have”.

The Hundertwasser project is a fantastic example of how a building and it’s living roof, designed in consideration of living urbanism, can add to the vibrancy and well-being of a local community.  Living Urbanism is a set of design principles that reflect the sensory connection between humans, the built environment and nature. Design outcomes aim is to make environments more permeable for people and wildlife.

TEDxTutukākā was a huge success, the kaupapa was followed through in every aspect, creating an amazing sense of community, driving to be zero-waste and accessible to the hearing impaired. The locally handmade, plastic-free, re-useable, goodie bags just reinforced the messages around living the values discussed during the day.

To find out more you can get in touch with Zoë Avery and Renée Davies

PFAS (Per- and Poly-fluroalkyl substances)

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PFAS has again been in the news this week after it emerged that it had been found in fire-fighting foams still used and stored at Nelson Airport. But what exactly are PFAS…


PFAS are a large group of man-made chemical compounds that have both industrial and consumer uses. PFOS (Perfluoroocane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) are two compounds in the PFAS family that are of particular interest.


PFAS have been used around the world since the 1950s in the production of a wide range of products that resist heat, and in particular have been widely used around the world in the production of fire-fighting foams for quelling flammable liquid fires. For this reason, PFAS containing fire-fighting foams have been commonly used at airports, fire-fighter training facilities, Department of Defence facilities, and large industrial / manufacturing facilities. 
PFOS and PFOA compounds have also been used in the production of commercially available products such as: oil and water-resistant coatings on textiles and upholstery (carpets, leather, paints and inks), hydraulic fluids in some medical devices, Teflon products, colour printer / photo-copier parts, and some insecticides. 


When PFAS compounds were first developed and used in the 1950’s, they were considered relatively inert and non-hazardous. However, as more data has become available, our understanding of PFAS has improved. It is now understood that PFAS compounds (particularly PFOS and PFOA) are persistent in the environment (generally resistant to natural degradation processes), and bioaccumulate in the tissues of living organisms (including humans).


Due to such common use of PFAS containing products around the world, we are exposed to small amounts of some PFAS in everyday life, through food, dust, air and contact with products containing these compounds (including food wrappers and containers, clothing and electronics). Most people have small amounts of PFAS compounds in their systems, and at small levels is not known to cause a health risk.


Given the concern around PFAS is still relatively recent (e.g. the use of PFAS based fire-fighting foams has only been illegal in New Zealand since 2006), there remains a lack of certainty over the long-term risks to human health from significant exposure to PFAS.


In general, PFAS products have not been used as extensively in New Zealand as they have in other parts of the world. For instance, at a typical Defence site in Australia, it is estimated that 74,000 litres of PFOS/PFOA fire-fighting foam was used per year for 30-years (prior to being banned); in the same period, a typical Defence site in New Zealand is estimated to be approximately 1,000 litres per year.


Notwithstanding, PFAS compounds are considered to be a potential risk that should be considered alongside other more common contaminants of concern when developing conceptual site models at both preliminary site investigations (PSI), and details site investigations (DSI).


Given the prevalence of PFAS compounds in our everyday lives, and the relatively low thresholds at which accumulation in the environment triggers further assessment, additional protocols need to be implemented during the design and execution of site investigation / sampling activities to limit the potential for cross-contamination of samples and occurrence of ‘false positives’. Similarly, as PFAS compounds are very soluble, no detection of PFAS in soil samples at a Site is not necessarily an indication that groundwater has not been impacted by PFAS at the same site.


In the absence of specifically developed New Zealand guidance on PFAS investigation and assessment, practitioners have typically defaulted to the Western Australia Department of Environmental Regulation (WA DER) Interim Guideline on the Assessment and Management of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), February 2016 in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) Contaminated Land Management Guidelines No. 2 – Hierarchy and Application in New Zealand of Environmental Guideline Values, October 2011 (CLMG No.2).


However, in January 2018 the Heads of the Environment Protection Agencies of Australia and New Zealand (HEPA) released the PFAS National Environment Management Plan (PFAS NEMP). While this guidance has only, as yet been endorsed for use in Australia; given this document supersedes the WA DER guidance, this document will now likely become the primary reference for PFAS assessment in New Zealand.


As a rapidly developing field, our understanding of PFAS is constantly evolving as new research and guidelines from regulatory authorities around the world are published. Since circa-2013 PFAS have been considered to be an emerging contaminant of concern; but with recent research suggesting persistence in the environment, and as yet fully understood potential risks to human health; it can be concluded that PFAS has emerged as a contaminant of concern.


4Sight remain committed to providing the most efficient investigation strategies in relation to PFAS, taking advantage of innovative cutting-edge technologies to provide the best project outcomes. 4Sight staff have conducted PFAS investigations at Site in both New Zealand and Australia, and are well versed in the intricate sampling protocols required for sampling potentially PFAS affected sites.


For more information on 4Sight’s PFAS investigation services, please get in touch with James Blackwell: jamesb@4sight.co.nz  or Nigel Mather: nigelm@4sight.co.nz.    
 

Water quality in Coromandel streams

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During the summer 2017, 4Sight investigated the water quality in four Coromandel catchments for the Waikato Regional Council (WRC), to identify potential causes of contamination. The results of the study have helped WRC to better understand contaminant sources in the area, improving responses to coastal water quality issues and highlighting opportunities to reduce contamination in these streams. The full investigation has just been published. You can find it here

The Beauty of Permeability

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When asked about our professional challenges at a landscape congress, landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson commented that “We need to be more permeable – how we work with others, creating teams and collaborating.  Like diversity is good for the planet, diversity in our profession is good”.  In relation to the topic of ‘what landscape architecture is’ the idea of permeability being an ambition seems appropriate and timely.

At 4Sight our aim is to blur the boundaries between disciplines and inspire innovative design responses for land, people and water.  Our design outcomes aim to make environments more permeable for people and wildlife.  Landscape architecture touches all of us and permeates through all aspects of our lives.  What is missing from this all-pervading influence is a voice to de-mystify that relationship – the communication of landscape, to build visibility and ownership of the outcomes and the influence that good design has on the world.

As highlighted by Sim van der Ryn and Stuart Cowan in Ecological Design “We live in two interpenetrating worlds.  The first is the living world, which has been forged in an evolutionary crucible over a period of four billion years.  The second is the world of roads and cities, farms and artefacts, that people have been designing for themselves over the last few millennia.  The condition that threatens both worlds – unsustainability – results from a lack of integration between them”.

The new landscape team at 4Sight aims to showcase how landscape is a critical tool for sustainable development that supports and empowers local communities and deals with the idea of landscape as a whole space (rural, urban, wilderness, man-made, treasured and degraded) in order to give it strength.   Most importantly our goal is to honour the relationship that people have with landscape in an holistic and integrated way that goes beyond the compartmentalised nature of landscape so often presented.   

The work we’ve been doing to support the achievement of the living roof design for the last Hundertwasser building that is to be constructed in the world - the Hundertwasser and Wairau Maori Art Centre in Whangarei.  This is an example of what permeability can bring – nature and the built form coming together, art and culture integrating within the urban city form, leading to a thriving Whangarei.  The project epitomises the blurring of discipline boundaries and has been an exciting opportunity for the 4Sight landscape team to showcase their unique blend of expertise.

It is this notion of landscape permeating all things that holds the most power for our future, both as communities living within and professionals working with the environments that surround us.

We look forward to working on projects that raise the profile of and de-mystify landscape and to facilitate local shared visions on permeability.

4Sight Landscape Team:  Renée Davies, Zoë Avery and Sam Hendrikse

 

An ode to annual Sea Week

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An ode to the annual Sea Week, what better place to spend a day snorkelling and diving at the Poor Knights?

The team from 4Sight did exactly that in early March and were fortunate to have perfect weather with clear visibility to view all the Poor Knights has to offer.

A perfect reminder of why as environmental professionals we are here. Helped in no small part by knowledgeable Yukon Dive staff out of Tutukaka, a great day was had by all.

Pizza and beer to finish the day left us wondering do we have to go home?

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Soil vapour and ground gas - often forgotten risks

Soil vapour and ground gas are often the forgotten media in contaminated land investigation; as the contamination cannot be ‘seen’. However, when present, soil vapour and ground gas present one of the key risks posed to human health.

Soil vapours can be present in the sub-surface at many sites where volatile contaminants are, or have been, utilised (e.g. industrial and manufacturing facilities; petroleum retail and depot facilities; dry cleaners, and former gas works).

Ground gas (as methane and carbon dioxide), also commonly known as landfill gas (LFG) are formed from the degradation of organic matter, and are often associated with active and former landfills / waste disposal facilities; and in areas of organic rich soils (such as peat).

If soil vapour or ground gas are present beneath a site, intrusion into indoor air is the most likely pathway to pose a risk to human health. Using improved and reliable soil vapour and ground gas investigation technologies developed in the USA and Europe, we are able to assess whether soil vapour and/or ground gas is present in the sub-surface at concentrations that could pose a risk to human health. These investigation techniques can be partnered with indoor air monitoring to further assess actual risk poses by soil vapour and/or ground gas.

By utilising the most applicable and reliable investigation method for the site and project, we are able to provide cost effective and schedule efficient strategies tailored to the site and contaminant. The ‘no one size fits all’ approach, allows us to be dynamic in assessing actual risk. Rapidly assessing the risk posed to Site users assists decision makers in understanding whether measures to mitigate the risk are required (e.g. further investigation or remediation); or whether no imminent risk is present and attention and resources can be focused elsewhere.

We have experience in the collection of soil vapour samples utilising a number of technologies, including: traditional soil vapour bores, and sub-slab monitoring using the Cox Colvin & Associates Inc. Vapor Pin®. Soil vapour samples can typically be collected using either gas sampling bags (e.g. Tedlar®) or gas sampling cannisters (e.g. SUMMATM or SiloniteTM). Discrete passive soil vapour sampling techniques are also easily used to assess actual risk over a known period of time.

Sampling technique selection is based on the type of site, type of contamination and ultimate goals and objectives of the study. We have developed relationships and partnerships with New Zealand-based suppliers and laboratories who can provide required sampling equipment, and conduct required analysis in a timely and cost competitive manner.

We also have extensive experience in the assessment of ground gas (methane and carbon dioxide) affected sites, including the design and installation of gas monitoring infrastructure; surface emissions monitoring; and continuous monitoring strategies. Ground gas concentrations and flow are particularly influenced by atmospheric conditions, such as: temperature, rainfall and atmospheric pressure. Understanding the optimal timing of sampling and monitoring is key to obtaining useful data upon which to draw reliable conclusions.  

As a rapidly developing field, 4Sight remain committed to providing the most efficient investigation strategies, taking advantage of innovative cutting-edge technologies to provide the best project outcomes.

For more information on 4Sight’s Soil Vapour and Ground Gas investigation services, please get in touch with James Blackwell.

Dealing with asbestos is complicated – Don’t leave it to chance

Asbestos is officially recognised as the “number one killer” in the New Zealand workplace, according to WorkSafe New Zealand. New government guidelines require all property owners to undertake a registered asbestos survey by April 2018. 

Who is affected by the new requirements?

Buildings altered, refurbished or built from 1940 until the mid-1980s are likely to contain ACMs. Therefore, all landlords and ‘Persons Conducting a Business or an Undertaking’ (PCBUs), as defined by the Health and Safety at Work Act (2015), have responsibilities. These include:

  • Checking for the presence or absence of asbestos on your property;
  • Assessment of the risks from asbestos and Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs), and identifying suitable ways to control them; and
  • Development of an asbestos management plan to set out strategies to manage asbestos in the workplace.

Those affected include commercial landlords, government departments and agencies, local councils, utility and service providers, schools and early childhood education services, charities and any private land owners or business. 


What if a business or property owner doesn’t comply? 

If property owners (with commercial gain) don’t comply by April 2018, WorkSafe NZ will have the authority to issue fines or prosecute. 
How can 4sight consultants help? 
Our team of recognised professionals have extensive experience in identifying asbestos and other hazardous substances, assessing risk, identifying management strategies, and providing awareness and health and safety training.  

Our team are currently registered Asbestos Assessors and are qualified to manage all aspects of asbestos risks.

We pride ourselves on providing timely and cost-effective advice to our clients, while maintaining regulatory and environmental integrity. 

Our services include:

  • Testing, Surveying and Auditing (Management, demolition/refurbishment, Pre-works assessments);
  • Project management, scoping and advice;
  • Developing Asbestos Registers;
  • Asbestos Management Plans;
  • Review of Asbestos Removal Control Plans;
  • Monitoring and clearance assessments associated with asbestos removal; 
  • Soil investigations;
  • Asbestos Abatement and Management Methodologies;
  • Asbestos-related work oversight; and
  • Training around asbestos awareness and eliminating exposure to risks.

Get in touch with an expert. Meet Chrisco Oelofse
 

Planning for Land. People. Water

 

Here at 4Sight Consulting we seek to demonstrate sustainable and environmental excellence and leadership in our wide-ranging projects. 

Our philosophy is to deliver project teams based on a broad range of experience using planners, environmental scientists, and environmental engineers to ensure all aspects of project delivery are taken into account.

 

 

The 4Sight Planning and Policy team are working across New Zealand on a number of exciting development projects and policy initiatives.

This month Melissa Pearson our Senior Planning and Policy Consultant gives us insight into her role here at 4Sight and the varied projects she has on her plate.

We are always on the look out for planners to join the team. Our current needs are flexible, and may depend on what you can bring to the role.  Take a peek at our careers page for all our latest roles on offer.

Experiencing Marine Reserves

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Imagine snorkelling amongst a dense kelp forest, surrounded by dozens of fascinating new life forms. A frenzy is created on top of the water. Someone has spotted a crayfish, and everyone is taking turns to dive under to get a glimpse of a cray crouching under a ledge. Students come up gasping for breath, but feel reassured by their adult buddy and bright yellow body board for time out. Some large snapper cruise past to see what the fuss is about. Gurgling sounds come from a snorkel, while an eagle ray rests on the sand below. The kids are easy to spot in their bright yellow & black wetsuits. The parents come in buzzing, and the kids madly tell their mates about how big the snapper they swam with was and how many different fish they saw. This is all normal conversation during an EMR programme.

Oliver Bone is an ocean enthusiast who joined the 4Sight marine ecology team this year. Oliver came to us as a proud supporter of the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust – Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) as one of the coordinators running community guided snorkel days for the past year.

EMR’s philosophy of experiential learning about marine conservation fit with the 4Sight values around Land, People and Water somewhat perfectly and we were thrilled to be able enhance our volunteer programme by keeping Oliver in this position to continue to provide support from a 4Sight staff member to the initiative. We are so lucky to have likeminded people on the team who help us achieve our vision.

What is EMR?

EMR (Experiencing Marine Reserves) is a national programme of experiential learning about marine conservation. EMR empowers schools and communities by providing the equipment and expertise for a hands-on learning experience in the ocean. The programme involves investigating marine biodiversity and local marine environments before venturing to a fully-protected marine reserve. After this experience, students are able to compare unprotected and protected areas and are supported to put their knowledge into action within the community. By working together as a nation towards understanding more about our marine environment, we can minimise our impacts upon it and conserve what we have for future generations.

Marine education is vital in achieving this goal. Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) provides quality first-hand marine education experiences and initiatives to schools and communities throughout New Zealand. The aim of the EMR programme is to raise awareness, understanding and involvement in marine conservation

EMR operates in 8 regions nationwide with a team of up to 30 coordinators. EMR has guided snorkel experiences for over 30,943 students in NZ marine reserves. EMR's programme outcomes:

  • Promotes education for sustainability & environmental enlightenment
  • Information transfer and opportunities for community development
  • Inspires action for the marine environment
  • Increased awareness, knowledge and involvement in marine conservation
  • Empowerment to make a difference in tomorrow’s management of the marine environment
  • Promotes youth leadership
  • Increased support for marine conservation
  • Hands on educational opportunities for ‘learning by doing’ learners
  • Participants learn about marine life
  • Promotes ethic of Kaitiakitanga
  • Embraces Māori culture

What is the role of an EMR Coordinator?

EMR coordinators offer guidance, direction and coordination to participants of EMR snorkel days. EMR coordinators prepare and fit all equipment required for the snorkel day. Once participants are fitted into their gear and ready to go coordinators deliver a briefing and educational talk to teach participants about the functioning of marine life and ensure a safe experience. Following this the coordinator provides hands on snorkel instruction and guides the participants through their snorkelling experience. Coordinators aim to leave participants with an increased appreciation and understanding of marine life and inspired about looking after our ocean for future generations.

Oliver joins Mark Poynter and Pamela in the Tutukaka office- 4Sight’s Marine Centre of Excellence.

Read more about The value of Marine Reserves

Beach clean-up at Piha

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At the beginning of the 2017 year 4Sight made some resolutions. This is our land is about preserving this environment for the next generation to live, work and thrive. What better way than spending a day at the beach picking up rubbish, followed by a BBQ at Emma's house.

With the return to New Zealand of long-time Sustainable Coastlines supporter and world-renowned musician, Jack Johnson who played at Villa Maria on Sunday 10th December -  26 members of the 4Sight family joined 130 other volunteers in a beach clean-up at Piha beach to kick-off summer.

Together we helped remove 2,000 litres of litter from the coast!

 

Inspiring young New Zealanders with The Wonder Project

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At the beginning of the 2017 year 4Sight made some resolutions. Thriving into the future is about sharing our knowledge to educate and shape a better future.

The Wonder Project, formerly known as Futureintech, is an Engineering New Zealand initiative that promotes the wide range of science, technology, and engineering careers to young New Zealanders by bringing people who are already working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) based industries into classrooms.

Ambassadors share their work experiences and personal success stories to inspire young New Zealanders to explore these careers.

The goals of The Wonder Project are to:

  • Increase enrollments for tertiary study of science, technology, and engineering.

  • Raise the profile of careers in science, technology, and engineering.

  • Offer school students hands-on learning experiences to increase their interest.

  • Establish relationships between industry and education communities.

4Sight has been involved with The Wonder Project for over 10 years and has presented at Careers Expos, school assemblies, school open days, education conferences and helped with class projects. The programme is funded by Callaghan Innovation.

In recent years, 4Sight’s ambassadors have also facilitated the Hello Café series which aims to support young girls (10-13 year olds) to open their minds, create opportunities, and gain confidence to help those around them. Hello Café is based on a series of problem-solving workshops where the girls solve problems, contribute to their communities and find inspiration for our future.

4Sight is thrilled to share our knowledge in educating and shaping the future by providing on the ground ambassadors as well as working with The Wonder Project and Engineering New Zealand on the programmes strategic direction.

 

Picture perfect native bee on a native flower

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Tony was in the Waitakere Ranges, supervising vegetation clearance for a track upgrade, when he captured a snap of this cute little fellow, a Native Bee - Leioproctus, atop a native iris flower. The combo was just too stunning not to share. 

Most of the bees in New Zealand are introduced honeybees and bumblebees, brought here to pollinate crops. But amongst the 41 species found here, there are 28 little-known native bees. 

Leioproctus bees are the most commonly seen native bees of 18 species. They look similar to honeybees but are smaller. All are black except for the South Island species Leioproctus fulvescens, which is covered with dense orange-yellow hair.

Our native bees are pollinators, but unlike the long tongued introduced bees which can pollinate all kinds of introduced flowers the short-tongued native bees are generally better at pollinating native flowers.

This native iris flower is a Libertia. There are 3 species of the native Iris to look out for, in the Waitakere Ranges, this is easiest from late spring when they flower. 

Photograph and text by Tony Payne

 

Integrating Multiple Aquatic Values Conference

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Our fourth and final conference of the month was the Integrating Multiple Aquatic Values Conference, which was run in association with the International Society for River Science, Waikato River Authority, IPENZ/Water NZ Rivers Group and the New Zealand Freshwater Science Society.

The conference was hosted by the University of Waikato in Hamilton and was targeted towards professionals in the physical, natural and socio-economic sciences, as well as those who manage and create policy for the use of riverine resources and their aquatic environments.

Attendees had access to speaker presentations, exhibits, networking functions and field trips that showcased New Zealand’s unique river environment

4Sight Director Michael Lindgreen co-authored two papers.

Michael’s first paper was an overview of a framework for integrated stream management. Below is an excerpt from Michael’s presentation abstract:

“Watercourse Assessment Reports (WARs) are documents developed by Auckland Council to guide watercourse and stormwater network management in the context of a holistic strategic approach for managing stormwater effects on streams.

The WARs represent the most recent iteration in a series of program refinements towards developing a management methodology capable of achieving multiple objectives within realistic environmental, economic and social constraints…Michael’s paper explored the WAR approach, and an example of the outputs that can be used by infrastructure providers to deliver prioritised catchment-wide network maintenance.”

Michael left attendees to think about whether this approach to the assessment and management of streams should be adopted at a national level to improve the integrated management of watercourses across Council boundaries and improve the availability of stream data,

You can read the full abstract here (page 128).

The second paper Michael co-authored was about the Lower Waikato flood control infrastructure and drainage services and their effects on fish passage. Below is an excerpt from this abstract:

“The Waikato River and waterways were significantly modified in the 20th century through development of hydropower, installation of flood control infrastructure and land development for agriculture and other uses.

In recent years, the Waikato Regional Council Integrated Catchment Management Directorate (ICM) and partner institutions have instigated a number of initiatives across the region and in the Lower Waikato to address broader environmental objectives while continuing to serve flood and drainage levels of service…This paper summarises the current flood and drainage service and provides an overview of the initiatives to better accommodate environmental objectives into ICM’s asset management.”.

You can read the full abstract here (page 156).

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our whirlwind month of conferences! Thanks to all who have come up to speak with our presenters and given great feedback! If you’ve missed any of our previous conference summaries, you can check them out below:

▪  James, Blackwell, Terre Nicholson and Nigel Mather at WasteMINZ

▪  Emma Comrie-Thomson at the Environmental Compliance Conference

▪  Tony Payne at the NZ Coastal Society Conference

 

NZ Coastal Society Conference

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Week 3 of our jam packed conference schedule has kicked off in Tauranga at the New Zealand Coastal Society conference.

The New Zealand Coastal Society (NZCS) represent a wide range of disciplines, including coastal science, engineering, management and planning.

NZCS are a technical group which are employed in the engineering and environmental consulting sectors of local, regional and central government, as well as in research institutes and the tertiary education sector.

4Sight are very excited that our own Senior Ecology Consultant, Tony Payne, is set to give a talk. Tony’s presentation is titled: “Engaging and enabling a community to restore a prized costal asset.” - a topic that is of great importance to all of us here at 4Sight.

Tony will be drawing upon both his local and international field experience to discuss ways to increase community awareness and support for ecological restoration opportunities within urban environments.

Below is an excerpt from Tony’s presentation abstract:

“Community-based restoration projects are often driven by a few local individuals or a small residents group who are concerned about environmental degradation, and mostly involve small-scale localised efforts.

The small scale of the projects is rarely due to an absence of willingness, but rather a lack of funding, technical resources or ‘know-how’, coordination with wider stakeholders, or understanding of the drivers of degradation. However, with the involvement of local councils and local boards, NGO’s and schools, community-based restoration projects have the potential to enact ecosystem rehabilitation at catchment and landscape scales. “

You can read the full abstract here (skip to page 98).

If you’re at the conference this week make sure you look out for Tony’s presentation and have a chat afterwards.

Read about Tony’s diverse background on our website, or to find out more about Tony and the work he does for 4Sight, check out his vlog here.

Environmental Compliance Conference 2017

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The 2017 Environmental Compliance Conference took place this week, bringing together local government officers to hear the views of experienced peers, exchange ideas, review industry best practice, learn from case studies and network with colleagues.

This was an interactive two-day conference, involving field trips, exhibitions and workshops focusing on practical and tactical solutions to compliance problems and opportunities in New Zealand.

We were very excited to have 4Sight Senior Environmental Management Consultant Emma Comrie-Thomson present at the conference, alongside Senior Associate Vicki Morrison-Shaw and Solicitor Rowan Ashton from Atkins Holm Majurey.

Emma’s presentation was titled: “You reap what you sow - How better conditions of consent can improve compliance outcomes” and was of particular interest to planners and enforcement officers.

An abstract summary of this presentation has been provided below:

“Quality conditions of consent are a fundamental aspect of ensuring good compliance outcomes – both in the sense that consent holders can better understand and therefore implement quality conditions, and because quality conditions are easier to enforce.

With conditions becoming increasingly elaborate and increased use of Augier conditions, it is important to ensure conditions remain clear, practical, and are enforceable.

In addition, the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 has introduced changes to the requirements for conditions of resource consents which come into effect on 18 October 2017.”

The presentation covered:

  • The core requirements for legally valid conditions,
  • The effects of Court decisions and legislative amendments,
  • Augier conditions, what they are, when they are appropriate from compliance and perspective, and when they are not,
  • The relationships between types of conditions and compliance outcomes,
  • Examples of problematic conditions and how these can be amended to support improved compliance outcomes.

Find out more about Emma by checking out her profile on our website here.

WasteMINZ Conference 2017

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As New Zealand’s largest representative body of the water, resource recovery and contaminated land sectors, WasteMINZ acts as an authoritative voice to achieve ongoing and positive development in this industry.  

Every year, WasteMINZ host a conference to explore key themes affecting the New Zealand contaminated land community. This year’s conference will be held in Hamilton and centres around the theme of “Purpose, Progress and Potential”.

As part of the conference, three members of the 4Sight team will be presenting; James Blackwell, Terre Nicholson and Nigel Mather.

James’ presentation, titled “Passive and active soil vapour sampling – a complementary approach”, will discuss the benefits of adopting early passive and active soil vapour sampling techniques to assess sites with suspected contamination by volatile compounds in soil and groundwater. Drawing on his experience in Australia, James will detail a case study where complimentary soil vapour sampling techniques were used.

James is a fairly new addition to the 4Sight family, with over 11 years’ experience in environmental consulting and contaminated land management.

James has particular strengths in petroleum and chlorinated hydrocarbon assessment and subsequent remediation in soil, groundwater and soil vapour; in addition to having a broad understanding of the assessment requirements surrounding the rehabilitation and redevelopment of closed landfills.

We’re excited to have James represent us at this year’s conference and look forward to hearing his presentation. In the meantime, you can read more about James’ experience on our website.

Terre will be presenting information on moving from safety confusion to a safety culture under the new WorkSafe regulations. 

Anytime new regulations are introduced, there is confusion as to what’s required and what the costs will be. The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 requires a risk-based approach and a high degree of worker engagement, which represents a substantial change in implementing health and safety in the workplace.

Terre’s presentation draws on her work experiences which ranges from working as an underground labourer at a uranium mine, a project manager, and a technical resource for the team that developed the first safety case accepted by WorkSafe in New Zealand.  You can read more about that here.

Terre’s WasteMINZ presentation will be discussing some of the elements required to develop a safety culture that saves time and money in the long run.

Nigel is a Senior Land and Water Quality Consultant with 4Sight Consulting and has been an environment and health and safety professional for 15 years.

Nigel will be presenting a case study in association with Rowan Freeman (Environment Canterbury) on managing and disposing of asbestos-contaminated soil in Canterbury.

There are currently limited options for the disposal of asbestos-containing materials in the Canterbury region. This presentation sets out how assessment and disposal of asbestos-contaminated soils are addressed internationally, whether international guidance and practices can be adapted for use in the Canterbury Region (and wider New Zealand), and what the potential risks are with this approach.

For more information on the conference, visit the WasteMINZ website here.

The value of marine reserves

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New Zealand was one of the first countries in the world to embrace fully protected ‘no-take’ marine reserves. Established in 1977 the Cape Rodney to Okakari Point (Goat Island) Marine Reserve is our first, and probably most iconic. Today there are 44 fully protected marine reserves scattered around the mainland and our offshore islands. These predominantly cosy up to the coastline, providing protection for nearshore or shallow water environments. 

Fully protected marine reserves offer respite for marine organisms and environments against the impacts of fishing, both commercial and recreational. By removing these pressures, the populations of targeted species are given a chance to recover. Over time the ecosystems within marine reserves should theoretically revert back to a more ‘normal’ state - ones that would have existed prior to the intensification of fishing.

Having spent three years studying at the Leigh Marine Laboratory (on the doorstep of the Cape Rodney to Okakari Point Marine Reserve) I have seen first-hand the value of marine reserves.

From the conservation of important species and ecosystems through to the economic gains from eco-tourism the benefits are multi-spectral. They also provide important tools for helping us understand marine ecosystems and processes and the impacts that humans are having on our natural environment.

The benefits can also extend well beyond the boundaries of protection as demonstrated in a recent study by Marine Scientists at the University of Auckland. Within a 400 km2 area around the Cape Rodney to Okakari Point Marine Reserve, 10% of all juvenile snapper caught were the offspring of snapper persisting within the marine reserve boundaries. Given the marine reserve only accounts for 1.3% of the 400 km2 study area, snapper within the marine reserve are having a large effect on the wider snapper population.  

For more information on this study watch the video here.

Delivering the best outcomes for land, people and water

Delivering the best outcomes for land people and water demands both a depth and breadth of skills and a passion for getting the balance right. That's why we don't just look for talented people, we seek out experts who share our vision that the best approach is one that meets the needs of land, water and people.

This month we feature our Senior Ecology Consultant, Tony Payne talking about the role of an Ecology consultant and the varied projects he has on his plate.

If you're passionate about your career and want to make a real difference, take a peek at our careers page for all our latest roles on offer. Right now we are looking for an ecologist with at least 10 years’ experience, who has had a demonstrated focus on coastal and marine related projects.

Is this you? Apply now. 

 

Major Hazard Facility Support

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With the April 2018 deadline looming, 4Sight is helping our Major Hazard Facility (MHF) clients with moving toward compliance.  We have helped with emergency response planning, safety case documentation, major accident prevention policy (MAPP) documentation, qualitative and quantitative risk assessment, consequence modelling, and general health and safety compliance.

We use BREEZE and ALOHA to model consequences of MHF events, such as explosions and chemical releases.  We also use air and hydrological modelling programmes to map chemical plume dispersion.  We also facilitate HAZOP, Hazard ID, and qualitative risk assessment workshops, assist with worker and public engagement and provide support for meeting with regulatory and emergency response agencies.

For one MHF, we provided consequence modelling, which helped form the basis for the emergency plan we developed for the facility.  The plan was presented to the New Zealand Fire Service who stated that it was the most comprehensive and one of the best emergency response plans they had ever reviewed.  We also assisted the client with validating a no-cost solution to separation distances for hazardous substances, assisted with the Safety Case, developed plans and procedures, and assisted with consent compliance.  We also developed a Permit to Work system and provided training to workers and contractors. In addition, we worked with the client to develop reports provided to EPA and WorkSafe demonstrating that the facility could be operated safely.  

At another MHF, we have conducted bow tie and layers of protection analysis evaluations to identify the highest consequence potential outcomes and controls required to prevent or mitigate incidents.  We also conducted consequence modelling and assisted with their emergency response plan and a WorkSafe audit.

For a lower tier MHF, we provided consequence modelling and teamed with Olsson Fire & Risk to develop a fire study to demonstrate that the fire systems were adequate to meet regulatory criteria.

For more information about 4Sight's MHF support services, get in touch with Wouter Grimme: wouterg@4sight.co.nz

NES for the Forestry Industry

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4Sight is pleased to see the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry being released by the Government last week. Since late 2015, 4Sight has been working closely with the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry for the Environment to help refine the regulations and respond to issues raised in public consultation.

 

The regulations are by far the most comprehensive national environmental standards developed to date and are a result of a significant amount of work. Not only are the regulations expected to deliver certainty and efficiency benefits for the forestry sector, councils and other stakeholders, they are also expected to deliver improved environmental outcomes.

 

The regulations come into effect May 2018, and 4Sight is now assisting the Ministry for Primary Industries with the implementation phase to deliver guidance and training to councils, foresters and key stakeholders to ensure an effective rollout.

Contact us if you'd like to find out more about the work we have done

Our latest video blog is all about our people

Here’s a glimpse into what our Managing Director, Aaron Andrew, does and what he looks for in potential team members.

If you're passionate about your career and want to make a real difference, take a peek at our careers page for all our latest roles on offer. We are currently on the lookout for talented Ecologists, Planners and Administration support.

4Sight Resolutions

A resolution is only truly sustainable if it serves a bigger picture.

At the beginning of 2017, we decided it was time for the 4Sight team to make some resolutions. Sustainability is a journey, and for us it’s about always trying to find new ways to actually walk the talk, together as a team. So, we made resolutions around four key areas we are passionate about - land, people, water and preserving our world for future generations.  Now we are creating actions to demonstrate how we are living our values. Follow us on our journey as we live up to our promises #4sightresolutions 

LAND
This is our land. We preserve this environment for the next generation to live, work and thrive.

PEOPLE
We believe in developing our people and our culture to grow together.

WATER
Our waters represent constant change. Our commitment is to ensure the quality of this precious resource.

THRIVING INTO THE FUTURE
Today we share our knowledge to educate and shape the future. 

It's the people

He aha te mea nui o te ao? 
What is the most important thing in the world?

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

Maori proverb

We know we are only as good as our people. During the year that was - 2017, together we grew, expanded, diversified, sprouted new shoots and had a lot of fun along the way.

We walked (round the bays), ran (Tuesday nights), dived (Poor Knights), stumbled through the mud (in the tough guy challenge), and danced up a storm (with a break-dancing rabbit).

We ate BBQs, lunchtime roasts, snapper sliders (with micro greens), birthday cakes, raw cakes, canapes and cocktails, and a number of things that were not what they seemed... 

We learned some te reo Maori, how to mihi, we laughed and we cried, shared mishaps and injuries, celebrated wins, survived five 40th's and welcomed new babies. 

We spent more money on staff training and conferences this year than ever before, and we hope to spend more again next year – this is why we grow, to build the right scale and expertise to create more opportunities for our people, and to get the chance to work on bigger, hairier, more interesting and challenging projects!

Tihei mauri ora!

 

An adventure earlier this year...


“What the fluoro pink speedo’s have I got myself into?” I thought as a splatter of muddy puddle water splashed up my back and a guy wearing only, and yes by only I mean only, fluoro pink speedos walked past me in the middle of a farm in remote west-Auckland on a drizzly wet grey day. Now you’re thinking what the heck has she gotten herself into?!

Well, I can tell you the splatter of mud up my back was really the last thing I needed to be worried about! In 30 minutes time, I was gingerly avoiding what I thought were the muddiest parts of the 6-km Tough Guy and Gal mud run this year. Within the hour, I’d given up all care for mud at all – laughing hysterically with other team members while submerged in it waist deep. Finally, all decency and care for all mud and water was gone and we hurled ourselves, down a mud slide on our backsides into a stream of freezing water. 

Sitting down later over a pint (or two), the crazy 4Sight team and their even crazier family members shared tales of helping hands, knocked heads, bruised shins, zapping wires, lost shoes, garment choices, winning runners and all the glories of thick, wet, cold mud! There were smiles and laughter a plenty. So team, what’s our next adventure together? 

Blogger - Monique Wheat, Multi-talented 4Sightian

Living Roof Urbanism

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Our Senior Planning, Urban and Landscape Design Consultant Zoë Avery recently presented her research into how we can better integrate living roofs as urbanistic systems into our cities in light of urban population growth.  

The term ‘Living Roof Urbanism’ is a concept developed to assist living roof design that results in maximised benefits. Living roofs, when designed in a holistic manner can produce multi-functional benefits that significantly improve our urban environment. Living roof design currently does not successfully maximise these potential benefits, nor are they acknowledged widely.  Regularly, living roofs are designed for one benefit, for example stormwater attenuation or aesthetics. The resulting effect is a reduction in the perceived benefits and subsequently lower global uptake. 

Zoë explained her research to date of looking into a set of guidelines to achieve holistic living roof development enabling maximum benefits.  The current toolkits, models, policy incentives and case studies compartmentalise the benefits rather than considering living roofs as part of the landscape and another surface that can enhance our environment achieving a multitude of benefits. 

Following on from this 4sight has been working alongside Renee Davies, Dean of Unitec, to develop the Living Roof Guide for Whangarei – being the first living roof guide in New Zealand.

This guide will be launched in a few weeks and aims to showcase the multi-functional benefits and design considerations of these systems.  Living Roof benefits include stormwater attenuation, increased biodiversity, the ability to create more public spaces providing greater connection with nature, extending the roof life, increased marketability and profitability of the buildings to name a few.

We will share the Living Roof Guide in the coming weeks, however for more information on our Urban and Landscape Design service, view our latest projects.

 

Planning for the waves of change

4sight_NigelBryce

Planning for me has always been centred around my passion and love for the ocean and the environment. 

I’ve surfed and immersed myself in the sea since the late 1980s and have a deep respect and understanding for the sensitivities of these environments. Choosing a career in environmental planning was a logical career choice.

Over the past 20 years, this career has taken me all around New Zealand and the United Kingdom where I’ve worked to achieve positive environmental outcomes while striving to uphold a high level of professional integrity with the projects I have  been involved with.

It’s this same passion for our environment and desire to achieve balanced results that underpins how 4Sight works and their principles of trust, integrity and respect are key to what attracted me to the company.

The planning profession is in a state of change and recent changes to the Resource Management Act are only just the start of what will be constant shifts in how we work, as central government issues more direction around development outcomes in urban environments and further changes in the freshwater management space.

This is the first time that 4Sight has established a South Island presence and I’m very proud to be charged with taking a lead role in expanding the brand and the high-quality services to our existing clients, as well as exploring opportunities to introduce our services to new clients.

The national economy is still showing positive signs of growth, with new development being advanced across the South Island’s key regions such as Marlborough, Canterbury, Otago and Southland.  Otago, in particular, has shown very positive tourism growth, with Queenstown reflecting high levels of construction and development activity.  The local Dunedin economy is buzzing with a number of heritage renewal/earthquake strengthening projects currently underway in the city and with a number of new projects proposed, which is all very positive.

In the regional space, freshwater (both quality and quantity) and nutrient management will continue to be a central focus across the South Island for irrigation and farming interests as new planning regulations start to take effect.  This will undoubtedly keep us busy.

So here’s to the next chapter in the 4Sight story, which I’m glad to be a part of. 

To find about more on my expertise or to get in touch, view my profile.

 

Nigel Bryce

Dunedin Manager - Principal Planning and Policy Consultant

 

 

A relic of the Jurassic period - Spotlight on the Kahikatea

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Our Ecology Consultant Dr. Arie Spyksma shines the spotlight on New Zealands tallest forest tree this week.

Kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) grows in excess of 60 metres on occasion. Amazingly, these trees are a relic of the Jurassic period, with pollen and leaves being discovered in Jurassic rocks (160 – 180 million years old) where they were likely pollinated by pterosaurs, not birds.

Historically there were widespread kahikatea forests through New Zealand’s low lying areas, with these trees thriving in frequently damp areas such as floodplains and swamps. Unfortunately, the expansion of New Zealand’s agricultural interests and the conversion of many low lying boggy areas into uniform expanses of pasture lead to the demise of much of our kahikatea forest. The best place to still see these forests in their prime today are the extensive freshwater swamp forests in Westland.

These kahikatea made up part of a small remnant grove in South Auckland, near Pukekohe. At the time of taking this photo (March) many of the fleshy seed receptacles had ripened (changing from green to orange/red) and were being engulfed by a litany of tui and kereru, a highly effective dispersal mechanism. 

Arie’s field of expertise is extremely wide. He works largely in ecological impact assessment, which involves environmental monitoring, marine monitoring, fauna survey, report writing, scientific research, field research, conservation and ecological restoration. 

For more information on Arie view his profile here.

 

National Environmental Standard for Telecommunication Facilities 2016

An updated and expanded National Environmental Standard for Telecommunication Facilities (NESTF) was gazetted on the 24 November 2016, and will come into effect on 1 January 2017. 4Sight has been working closely with the Ministry of Business and Innovation (MBIE) and the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) to develop and refine the new regulations. 4Sight's ongoing involvement in this project is based on our proven experience in central government policy development, practical planning experience and knowledge of the telecommunication industry through our resource consent acquisition work for 2degrees across New Zealand. 

The process for developing the 2016 NESTF has taken a number of years, and responds to increasing demands for greater mobile services and technologies and modern forms of telecommunication facilities. The 2016 NESTF will support the development of a wider range of telecommunications infrastructure, particularly Ultra-Fast Broadband, the Rural Broadband Initiative and fourth generation mobile infrastructure, through permitting a wider range of telecommunication facilities in locations inside and outside road reserves. 

A key focus of 4Sight’s role in this project has been to ensure the NESTF achieves its objective of ‘providing greater national consistency for a wider range of telecommunications infrastructure and locations’ while ensure environmental effects are appropriately managed through appropriate conditions and allowing for local control to be retained in areas with particular significance or value. This process has benefited from an exposure draft process which involved working with a Technical Advisory Group comprised of industry and local government representatives to test and refine the regulations. 

The focus of 4Sight is now on developing a comprehensive user guide for the NESTF to help explain the technical regulations in a more concise and understandable manner and to facilitate the efficient and effective roll out of the NESTF early next year.

Here is the press release for more information or you are welcome to get in touch with Jerome Wyeth for more information.

Driftwood

We consent all sorts of interesting things from tree houses to giant inflatable gorillas, but a few eyebrows were raised initially in the Monday team meeting around getting a consent to remove and dispose of drift wood from Gisborne’s main beach. 

It’s a bit easier to see why if you watch this drone footage. You can see the extent of the problem, following the recent floods, and imagine its effect on the seaside town especially leading into summer. All this driftwood damages the dune system and prevents the vegetation establishing which in turn exacerbates coastal erosion. But what do you do with it? Smoke and ash from burning this much driftwood would be a major problem so close to an urban area.

The good news is GDC and the Kopututea Trust working with DOC have identified an area within Kopututea, an area owned by the Trust and shared by the wider community as a public reserve, where the driftwood can be deposited. The intention is that this will then be used as part of an overall restoration project to establish plantings which will enhance the area. However, the proposed works will trigger a range of rules under the Combined Regional and Land Plan, the proposed Freshwater Plan, the Air Quality Plan and Gisborne Coastal Environment Plan. Whilst this may seem inconvenient to some, these rules actually ensure protection of our environment and making sure the public can still use and enjoy this valued coastal environment to its fullest. Also it’s a painless process when you have great planners. We are helping GDC obtain all the necessary approvals to get this done, watch this space. You can also see a coastal walkway we recently consented for them. 

'Sink or Swim' - South Auckland Secondary School Awards for a sustainable future

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Despite the crutches, Alice was thrilled to be a Judge in the inaugural Tiaki - 'Sink Or Swim' Awards, South Auckland Secondary Schools Environmental Competition. ‘Sink or Swim’ (SOS) currently in its first year culminated in an expo and awards ceremony on 2 August at the new Sir Noel Robinson Conference Centre (Vodafone Events Centre). The pilot has been a resounding success, with students from four South Auckland schools partnering with local businesses to conceptualise and develop environmental solutions to solve real world problems. The projects contributed to Tiaki’s vision 'A future where youth protect, enhance and beautify the South Auckland environment through innovative actions that support a sustainable future. The judges included 4Sight’s Alice Andrew, Anne Gibbon from Callaghan Innovation, Michael Grobelny from AUT – Faculty of Design and Creative technologies, and Sir Noel Robinson himself. After some intense presenting from the students and judging the students then took to the new Wero White water park. Alice is looking forward seeing the awards gain momentum and can’t wait to see what amazing entrants there will be next year. 

Congratulations to Manurewa High as overall winners for their invention to produce a cost effective solution for rental or Housing NZ homes where moisture is a problem. Manurewa High worked with Aeroqual to address the health hazards associated with excess moisture in damp, mouldy homes by 3D-printing an extractor fan with a built in timer and humidity sensor.  

Other projects included a 21st century school community garden, from Aorere College and Opus and an Alternative Energy Project from Sancta Maria College, who teamed up with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare to explore alternative ways to produce energy.  Two schools, Manurewa High School and Rongomai Primary School, worked with Aeroqual on a project to measure, map and reduce CO2 levels in the classroom through the use of simple sensors and natural organisms such as plant life. It was impressive to hear the primary school students from Rongomai explain how excess CO2 levels in the classroom contribute to lethargy and lack of concentration.  

Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan - What's coming up

Auckland Unitary Plan.png

After 2 ½ years of submissions and hearings, the Independent Hearings Panel will be releasing their recommendations to the Council on 22 July 2016. The Councillors will have until 19 August 2016 to either accept or reject the recommendations of the Panel, and appeals regarding the provisions must be lodged with the Courts by 16 September 2016. 

How much will change?

Like you, we do not know what the Panel’s recommendations will be.  We expect that they will adopt the agreed positions that submitters and the Council have come to, however they are not likely to adopt all of the Council’s submissions. We also understand that the look and feel of the Plan will be different to the current version.

Appeals

Under the specific legislation for the Unitary Plan there is a reduced scope of appeal available.  In general, appeals are only able to be made on points of law (to the High Court) unless the Council does not accept the recommendations of the Panel.

What does this mean for you?

The rules are changing - there are likely to be activities that you can do now that you won’t be able to do without consent.  Equally there could be activities that are more permissive than currently.  We understand that some zoning is also likely to change, this could be upzoning of some residential areas or changes from rural to urban.

There will be uncertainty – it is likely there will be a number of appeals made on the Decisions Version of the PAUP.  It will take the Council some time to identify what appeals affect what parts of the PAUP.

There will be delays – we except that due to the new statutory planning regime the Council processing times will be extended as they work to address applications under the new rules and criteria.  It’s likely there will be higher processing costs due to the need to address both the legacy plans and the new plan.

Consenting Regime – it may be beneficial for your project to lodge prior to the Decisions Version being notified (August), or alternatively it may be beneficial to wait.  We can provide advice on this for you.

When will it all be over?

Only after all appeals have been settled will we have the Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) and (apart from the Hauraki Gulf Islands) we can disregard all legacy plans.  However, it could be that aspects of the appeals are settled more quickly than others so some areas of Auckland will only be subject to the new plan.

We’re here to help

4Sight Consulting has a strong relationship with the Council and will be kept informed of how the Council, in particular the resource consents department, will be implementing the Decisions Version of the PAUP.  We can provide advice to you on when to lodge consent, and whether, as a submitter, it is worth lodging an appeal.

For help or advice, speak with one of our planning consultants

 

Sniffing out the skinks! - An initiative for our four-legged employee

In an initiative to develop a flexible, rapid, cost effective and accurate methodology for a native skink presence survey at 4Sight, we’ve turned to our four-legged employees!

It’s well known that dogs have a sense of smell far superior to our own - a human has approximately 5 million scent glands, in comparison to dogs which (depending on breed) can have anywhere from 125 million to 300 million.

The use of canine super-sniffers is not a new concept in the realm of conservation – in fact New Zealand is recognised as one of the pioneering countries in the development of dog training to support species recovery objectives. 4Sight is continually looking to develop practical solutions to help us live, work and thrive in our environment and accordingly, is supporting the training of a native skink detection dog, using one of our most widespread species – copper skink – as a proxy for native skinks. Whilst dogs have been trained to detect the presence of the invasive plague skinks, and others can detect native geckos; this initiative is (as far as we know) the first of its kind in New Zealand. Where human error and seasonal conditions can impact detection accuracy, a well-trained dog can potentially indicate presence of native skinks within minutes – and in a far less invasive manner.

Enter Molly – 4Sight’s resident chocolate labrador. With a drive to please and enthusiasm to boot, she’s got the goods to make a top notch conservation dog. Check in regularly, as we’ll update her progress on this blog, with regular posts by Molly’s handler Rachel throughout the training and assessment process. Watch this space!

Geckos in the spotlight!

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At least 39 species of gecko live in New Zealand, however only 18 of these species have been described. These species show a great variety in size and colour, and range from bright greens and yellows to camouflage greys and browns. New Zealand geckos are also unique in that they give birth to live young rather than lay eggs, something that is only shared with geckos from New Caledonia. 

Geckos are extremely cryptic and difficult to detect, especially on mainland New Zealand. They are also under threat from introduced predators and habitat destruction, which has resulted in low population densities. 

However, there is potential for geckos to be discovered in your backyard. They are attracted to large areas of dense divaricating shrubs such as coprosma species which provide safe cover, but also provides fruit and attract insects for geckos to feed on. They also enjoy kawakawa which provide fruit and flax, while mānuka and rātā offer nectar. 

This is something to consider for any site development project. Our ecology team at 4sight are often seen heading out at night to spotlight for geckos, whose eyes reflect their scanning torches enabling them to assess species presence. This enables our ecologists to monitor gecko populations for an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEEs) and evaluate the impacts and monitoring outcomes as part of mitigation requirements of the Resource Management Act. 

For more information on assessing the ecological impact of your next development, download the guide here.

Photo courtesy of Paul Caiger, who is currently a PhD student at the Leigh Marine Laboratory studying fish ecology. When the weather is too rough to go diving, Paul can be found in the bush searching for reptiles to photograph.

Santa delivered our new video early..

The office is buzzing with excitement today as we showcase our new video to the team. We think it sums up our proposition perfectly, take a look and let us know what you think!

For more information, or to speak with a specialist in your area, visit our contact us page.

Resource Management Act – Evolution or Revolution?

Resource Management Act – Evolution or Revolution?

The Resource Management Act Legislation Amendment Bill was introduced into the House last week. The Bill has been a long time coming as political concerns over the controversial changes to sections 6 and 7 resulted in ongoing delays, and these changes have now been dropped (with the exception of natural hazards as a section 6 matter). The Bill still presents a significant change to current planning practice...

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Grand Designs require Grand Plans

Grand Designs require Grand Plans

4Sight Consulting is proud to have contributed to the Ballara family’s house becoming a reality. We love the house for its innovation, and for its inclusion of passive building principles where heating and cooling systems form part of the ecology of the building. 

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Sustainable 60 Awards 2014

Sustainable 60 Awards 2014

4Sight Consulting has been announced as a finalists for the 2014 Sustainable 60 Awards. There will be some stiff competition with 20 companies in the running for the title of New Zealand’s most sustainable business. The annual Sustainable 60 Awards recognise sustainable business excellence.

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Okahu Bay Mussel Reef Restoration Project Commences

Okahu Bay Mussel Reef Restoration Project Commences

100 years after the sewage pipe that introduced pollution and disease into Ōkahu Bay was constructed, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei are implementing one of a suite of restoration programmes that strives to restore the mauri (life force) of Ōkahu Bay on behalf of the hapū and the Auckland community.

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Diversity Awards 2014

 Diversity Awards 2014

On Wednesday 27 August our company culture was recognised by the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust in the 2014 Diversity Awards, with the team at Andrew.Stewart Ltd taking home the Work Life Balance Award.

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Our Commitments

Our Commitments

Our vision is to be a role model for sustainable business for the SME business sector, with a commitment to continual improvement.  We look to be recognised in the market place as being environmentally conscious, by clearly demonstrating the actions we take and being in the vanguard of SME sustainable practices.

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