Coastal

FROM A CLIENT'S PERSPECTIVE

Here's some of the ways we've helped government, iwi and the private sector make better planning and environmental decisions
that balance the needs of land, water and people.

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WEONA WALKWAY

THE PROJECT

Weona Walkway is one of Auckland Council’s newest public path networks, linking several parks and reserves around the Westmere coastline.

It’s close proximity to neighbouring houses, steep slopes, the sensitive inter-tidal environment, and a scattering of archaeological sites made the project a challenging proposition.

Following representation by 4Sight in Environment Court proceedings, resource consents were granted and works commenced. An Authority to Modify Archaeological Sites was also granted.

Take a journey down the walkway below.

THE APPROACH

4Sight provided multi-disciplinary professional services to the project, including RMA planning, ecological assessment, contaminated land investigation and management when buried asbestos was uncovered, plus key support to Council within their programme of consultation.

However, our contribution did not stop as soon as all the permits were in place. We continued to provide substantial help to the construction Project Manager through:

  • facilitating extensive communications with neighbours, often taking a mediatory role between them and Council;

  • seeking regulatory approval for the inevitable design changes in this dynamic working environment;

  • assisting with documenting resource consent compliance; and

  • keeping a sense of humour within trying circumstances.

 

THE OUTCOME

Construction of the Weona Coastal Walkway is complete and is currently being enjoyed by hundreds of Aucklanders every week.

Our efforts were very much appreciated and well-recognised by the Client’s representative

The Weona Walkway project was complex on many levels and the team at 4Sight were instrumental in the success at all stages of the project. Throughout the construction process, there were a number of significant issues in regard to communication with the local residents, the discovery of asbestos and management of the local lizard population.
In response to this, I found the 4Sight Team were outstanding. I would like to make special mention of Simon Karl who supported me within a wide range of issues some of which are noted above and others too numerous to mention. Simon was professional throughout and provided accurate concise advice under very challenging circumstances. This allowed the management team and myself to make informed decisions in a very timely manner. I believe without the support of the 4Sight Team this very complex project would not have delivered such an outstanding result for the people of Auckland
— Peter Brookes, Engineer to Project on behalf of Auckland Council

Weona Walkway

Weona Walkway is one of Auckland Council’s newest public path networks, linking several parks and reserves around the Westmere coastline.

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UNDERSEA IRON SANDS DECISION MAKING

4Sight was engaged by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to assist the decision-making committee (DMC) considering an application to mine iron sands within New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). 

THE PROJECT

Trans Tasman Resources applied under the EEZ Act to mine 50 million tonnes a year of seabed material within the EEZ off the South Taranaki coast, for a period of 35 years. The Act applies to activities more than 12 nautical miles (22 km) offshore, and consent was required for both the mining and its associated discharge of material back to the sea floor.

The decision making responsibility was delegated from the EPA to the DMC. Our role was to work with the DMC and prepare the decision report. The purpose of the decision report was to document the significant range of evidence presented at the hearing and to present the findings of the DMC.

THE OUTCOME

The DMC’s decision was to grant the consent, subject to an extensive suite of conditions setting discharge and receiving environment standards, operational management, and other environmental controls. We fulfilled our role by completing the 350 + page decision report in the available timeframe, to a standard acceptable to the DMC and the EPA. The decision report covered a wide range of matters including, among other things, the science and effects of suspended sediment; the potential for noise effects on marine mammals; and the relationship of effects to customary (iwi) fisheries.

Having worked closely with the DMC and EPA’s legal counsel, our final version of the decision report required only very minor editing after its submission to the EPA.

THE APPROACH

Our role in this project required intensive involvement over a period of six months. At the outset we were required to be familiar with the application and its supporting documents (which totalled approx. 4,000 pages of material). We attended most of the 22 days of hearing and the DMC’s  deliberations which spanned 27 days.

The project required us to establish a strong and trusted relationship with all members of the DMC, as well as the EPA. As a neutral advisor, we had to distil evidence for the DMC in a way that avoided any judgements about its value to the final decision (which was the DMC’s role). At times this was a very reactive role in response to various substantive issues pursued by the DMC during their deliberations. In doing so, we researched background reports, collated and summarised evidence, and prepared working drafts of the decision report.

As part of our work for the client, we were required to:

  • Contribute to the DMC’s decision making process in a neutral but productive way;

  • Understand the legal framework established by the Exclusive Economic Zone Act;

  • Have an in-depth understanding of the issues and evidence;

  • Distil and clearly present evidential themes from within background reports, individual briefs of written evidence, and daily hearing transcripts;

  • Link facts and evidence to proposed and final consent conditions; and

  • Accurately represent the findings of the DMC.

Iron Sands

4Sight was engaged by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to assist the decision-making committee (DMC) considering an application to mine iron sands within New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

TE ARA TAHUNA COMMUNITY RESTORATION PLAN

THE PROJECT

4Sight was engaged by Auckland Council to develop a community-based restoration plan for the Orewa Estuary Te Ara Tahuna. The plan provides a strategic approach and guidance to facilitate and encourage community-driven restoration of the 12km coastal margin surrounding the estuary between the bridges of State Highway 1 and Hibiscus Coast Highway. The Plan provided detailed information, advice and tools on:

  • Matauranga Maori - including Maori history of the area and protocols for any accidental discoveries;

  • Animal pest control – including the methodologies for undertaking pest control and associated monitoring;

  • Environmental weed control - including the process for controlling weeds (supplemented by a reference guide);

  • Restoration planting – identifying areas available for replanting, including a maintenance timeline, kauri dieback and myrtle rust information, ecosourcing guidance and how to propagate rushes;

  • Bird monitoring – including monitoring methodologies (supplemented by a reference guide)

  • Mangroves and sediment – including information on mangrove management, and sediment monitoring.

The plan will play an important part in the wider restoration projects along the Hibiscus Coast. It builds on the Forest and Bird Pest Free Peninsula initiative at Whangaparaoa, and the overall North-West Wildlink, by creating more safe, connected and healthy habitats for native wildlife across Auckland.

THE OUTCOME

The plan was designed for the community to pick up, understand what ecological restoration activities are needed around the Orewa Estuary and where. It then informs the community of the steps and methods to implement the Plan.

From conception, the Plan has been intended to develop lasting interactions between groups, and provide an easy to understand and easy to implement means of enhancing the natural environment surrounding the Orewa Estuary. The Plan facilitates those additional benefits only gained by community-based projects such as enabling learning and sharing of knowledge, building a sense of community and strengthening people’s connection to the area.

THE APPROACH

To inform the Plan development, we gained a detailed understanding of the current ecological and social context of the area by:

  • Recognising from the outset that the Plan was intended for use by the community, so the first step was to meet with various local groups with an interest in the estuary;

  • Listening to the community groups to understand what is most important to local residents, and what aspirations they have for the estuary;

  • Undertaking thorough research of existing plans and information;

  • Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology to undertake detailed field surveys and inform visual plan development;

  • Liaising one-on-one with a wide variety of Auckland Council departments, local mana whenua representatives, community and interest groups, Forest and Bird, and long-standing residents.

Following this approach, we developed a comprehensive Restoration Plan, with informative maps augmented by implementation and monitoring guidance.

We are really pleased with both the process used to create the plan and with the plan itself. The stakeholder engagement that was undertaken within council, iwi, local groups and the surrounding communities’ and the willingness to accommodate the many different views expressed throughout the writing of this plan were highlights of this work for us. It has provided us with a great product that can be easily picked up and used by the community and by us too.
— Chrissy Henley, Senior Biodiversity Advisor, Auckland Council

Orewa Estuary

4Sight was engaged by Auckland Council to develop a community-based restoration plan for the Orewa Estuary Te Ara Tahuna.

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NAVIGATING THE CHALLENGES FACING A NEW MARINA

4Sight provided community and stakeholder engagement/consultation along with planning and specialist coastal ecological services to help develop a new marina in a challenging environment. 

The project

4Sight have been involved with the Sandspit marina project since its inception. So far we have:

  • Been involved in community and stakeholder consultation;

  • Prepared AEEs and lodgements for the project's various district and regional consents;

  • Carried out ecological assessments;

  • Reviewed submissions on the project and coordinated the applicant’s case at the joint council hearing;

  • Coordinated the lodging of an Environment Court appeal against a land use consent decision;

  • Managed a successful Environment Court-directed mediation;

  • Investigated a revised marina layout which would reduce construction costs;

  • Developed a programme for implementing all of the consent conditions and ensuring that engineers and contractors were aware of them;

  • Obtained council approval for the construction ecological and water quality monitoring programme and oversaw its implementation.

The approach

4Sight are the trusted planning and environmental consultancy for a number of clients across New Zealand on a wide range of coastal development projects including ports, ferry landings, marinas, wharves and reclamations. This experience has given us deep insight into the inner-workings of local government – in particular how to navigate their clients through complex RMA and related environmental matters.

We have a thorough understanding of the types of consents required for coastal projects and the different ways to ensure they're obtained quickly and cost-effectively. Our Principal Planner, Max Dunn, has successfully consented more than 8 marina developments himself and has also acted as an independent hearing commissioner of the Onehunga Foreshore reclamation in Auckland. Our Principal Ecologist Mark Poynter has been involved in eight marina developments.

 

THE OUTCOME

4Sight has successfully guided the marina society through a difficult resource consent process and have successfully achieved their desired result. 

We advised the society on the costs for each phase of the project and were able to work within agreed budgets for each of them. We also helped to identify design changes and consent conditions as part of our role in the project, which saved the society time and money.  

Moving forward, 4Sight is still playing an active role in consent condition implementation, which shows our ability to assists clients far beyond the resource consent acquisition phase – right through to project completion and operation. 

Sandspit Marina

Navigating the Challenges Facing a New Marina

4Sight provided community and stakeholder engagement/consultation along with planning and specialist coastal ecological services to help develop a new marina in a challenging environment. 

A LONG-STANDING RELATIONSHIP HELPING NORTHPORT BE A RESPONSIBLE CORPORATE CITIZEN

4Sight's had a long and ongoing involvement with commercial port operations both at Port Whangarei and also Marsden Point, acting as an advisor on planning and environmental matters to Marsden Maritime Holdings. 

The project

Mark Poynter, our Principal Marine Ecologist, has acted as an advisor to the client on a wide range of environmental and planning issues. The team are currently involved in:

  • Investigating methods for disposal of solid wastes (clean fill);

  • Progressing a resource consent for stormwater system sludge disposal;

  • Monitoring issues around the stormwater system's coal stockpile leachates and elevated metals;

  • Overseeing stormwater system monitoring requirements including heavy metals and Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing;

  • Reviewing stormwater discharge, tidal, rainfall and wind data related to the collapse of the Mair Bank pipi bed at the Whangarei Harbour's entrance;

  • Establishing an online compliance management system (CS-VUE) to assist the Port with the day-to-management of resource consent compliance.

The approach

We take a pragmatic approach to dealing with port-related environmental requirements. We appreciate the fact that there's often a gap between public perception of environmental effect and the reality of the effects for areas of high ecological value such as Marsden Point.  

Understanding the importance of getting everyone on board, we've also taken great care to present information and engage with interested parties in a way that is technically sound but also easily understood by a wider audience. By working with Northport staff over such a long period of time, we've been able to develop deep expertise in the area, allowing us to provide high-value advice efficiently.

THE OUTCOME

The services we've provided to Northport over the years have given their management team the confidence that it's environmental and wider responsibilities as a corporate citizen are being taken seriously and continue to improve.   

 


 

Northport

A Long-Standing Relationship Helping Northport be a Responsible Corporate Citizen.

4Sight's had a long and ongoing involvement with commercial port operations both at Port Whangarei and also Marsden Point, acting as an advisor on planning and environmental matters to Marsden Maritime Holdings. 

HELPING TO DEVELOP NEW ZEALAND'S SIGNIFICANT COASTAL WALKWAYS WITH MINIMAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

4Sight has been involved in several ecologically sensitive coastal walkway projects throughout New Zealand including the Oneroa Beachfront Cycle and Walkway in Gisborne as well as the Orakei Basin and Weona Walkways in Auckland. 

THE APPROACH

The interface between land and sea is often an ecologically sensitive environment and is of particular value to iwi and local communities. As a result, 4Sight's approach with coastal walkway projects is to have early input into the route selection and design phases. 

Doing so helps us understand and outline the project's key ecological and cultural priorities, and build these into its design in a pragmatic manner. It also gives us the opportunity to align the client's vision with community interests and environmental concerns from the offset.

 
 

THE PROJECT

Coastal projects encompass multiple complex stages including constraints analysis, route selection and construction works management. We lend our planning and ecological expertise to every stage in our clients' projects, with some of our services including:

  • assisting with developing designs, pulling specialist teams together and managing experts

  • aiding with the acquisition of land use and regional consents;

  • iwi and community consultation

  • terrestrial, wetland, estuarine and marine surveys;

  • terrestrial and coastal bird surveys;

  • native lizard habitat and population surveys;

  • assessment of ecological effects;

  • preparation of ecological management plans;

  • lizard capture, captive management and relocation;

  • ecological design input;

  • supporting environmental compliance during construction

THE OUTCOME

4Sight has been involved in a large number of coastal walkway projects over the years. As a result of this extensive experience, our planners and ecologists have been able to help our clients produce walkway designs that strike a careful balance between community and iwi interests, environmental concerns and economic realities.

Coastal Walkways

Helping to Develop New Zealand

4Sight has been involved in several ecologically sensitive coastal walkway projects throughout New Zealand including the Oneroa Beachfront Cycle and Walkway in Gisborne as well as the Orakei Basin and Weona Walkways in Auckland. 

IMPROVING THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND RECREATIONAL VALUE OF A SIGNIFICANT REGIONAL LANDMARK

Ever since 2001, 4Sight has played a crucial role in helping Auckland City to identify and address the causes of poor water quality in Orakei Basin.

The project

4Sight has been working to improve Orakei Basin's environmental and recreational value for almost 15 years. Some projects we've worked on to help achieve this goal include:

  • Dredging contaminated sediments from the basin;

  • Options studies to improve water quality and address historical sewer overflow contamination in the creek;

  • Developing a strategy for the long-term management of the basin;

  • Extensive iwi, stakeholder and community consultation;

  • Resource consent acquisition for continued impoundment;

  • Acting as a facilitator between stakeholder groups and council, whose relationship had become fragile on a number of basin-related projects;

  • Helping the council to resolve significant resource management problems carried over from another consultancy;

  • Facilitating the delivery of a $3 million coastal boardwalk and cycleway around the basin;

  • Delivering a project to restore the failing access road and carpark;

  • Leading the design, investigation and consenting of further sections of the coastal boardwalk network.

The approach

We provided a holistic service which encompassed all of the environmental, community and planning aspects associated with the basin. These services included:

  • Working to understand the city's responsibilities under the Local Government Act, Reserves Act, Historic Places Act and RMA;

  • Maintaining strong working relationships, based on trust and mutual respect, with key parties such as iwi residents and environmental protection groups;

  • Identifying project delivery risks, and developing strategies to manage and address those risks to reduce costs and time frames;

  • Representing the council to internal stakeholders, external stakeholders and other interested parties;

  • Working collaboratively with other consultants to deliver the best possible outcome for the client;

  • Engaging with the local community;

  • Working with the contractors to ensure high levels of environmental compliance were achieved.

The ongoing success of the project can be attributed to the development of a long-standing relationship between 4Sight and the client that extends beyond the individuals involved. 

The outcome

The Orakei Basin is a unique archaeological and geological feature of the Auckland Region and an important recreational asset. Our long-standing involvement has encompassed a wide range of projects addressing many different types of resource management issues. The decision to continue the impoundment was a significant achievement, as despite opposing view points, the publicly notified consents were granted without needing to proceed to a public hearing. 

 We have successfully represented the council at Environment Court Mediation, and have helped to heal fragmented community relationships. Our work over the years has shown great innovation and has also been extremely cost-effective. 

4Sight have worked on a lot of sensitive and high profile sites for Auckland City Parks. They have taken on consents, communications and project management with a sense of ownership and drive. Current work on Orakei Basin has tied together archaeological, arboricultural and coastal marine aspects of consenting into achievable physical works. Their ability to deal with disparate and motivated stakeholders and give clear guidance to contractors has been integral to project success.
— Greg Hannah

Orakei Basin

Orakei Basin

Ever since 2001, 4Sight has played a crucial role in helping Auckland City to identify and address the causes of poor water quality, and deliver a wide range of projects to improve the use and amenity of this regionally significant water body.

COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS BENEFIT FROM TAKING AN INTEGRATED APPROACH

4Sight is currently working alongside Worley Parson engineers to deliver a range of port projects, including redeveloped cargo yard and wharf facilities, and continued maintenance dredging and offshore disposal for Eastland Port Ltd.

The project

4Sight are currently investigating various options for improving breakwater protection and extended vessel berthing/loading facilities. This has included, among other things:

  • Preparing environmental impact assessments;

  • Engaging stakeholders;

  • Contaminated land management;

  • Working alongside various specialists such as acoustic engineers and archaeologists.

Our role was recently extended, and 4Sight are now responsible for managing Eastland Port's resource consent compliance programme. We are also currently preparing a Port Environmental Management Plan which covers port and related inland cargo.

Eastland Port recently lodged coastal permit applications for continued maintenance dredging and offshore disposal. As a result, we were required to review the Port of Gisborne's historical dredging and water quality data. The aim of doing so was to assess the port's significance as a settlement area for juvenile crayfish, which some stakeholders see as an important issue. 

The outcome

By joining forces with our engineering partner, Worley Parson, 4Sight have been able to give the client a service offering which encompasses planning, environmental and engineering services – all of which are in relation to the development and maintenance of the port.

 As a result of successful stakeholder consultation, the consent for continued maintenance dredging has been lodged on a limited notified basis. The port has also established a company-wide compliance management system – with clearly allocated responsibilities – thanks to 4Sight's ongoing compliance support. 

The approach

4Sight has been Eastland Port's trusted planning and environmental consultancy for a number of years and has worked on a number of coastal development projects that straddle the land-coastal marine area interface, particularly in terms of new or extended infrastructure.

The experience we've gained from working on projects involving ports, marinas, walkways and wharves has given us significant insight into the inner-workings of local government, and in particular how to navigate their clients through complex RMA and related environmental matters.

Thanks to our experience working on a wide range of coastal projects, 4Sight's staff members have a deep understanding of the type of consents required and how to obtain them in a short period of time. A significant advantage of working with 4Sight is our ability to combine this knowledge with our own technical expertise in marine ecology, water quality management and contaminated land remediation. 

4Sight have brought together complex consenting and environmental problems into common sense solutions. They have worked collaboratively with our design engineers Worley Parsons to deliver excellent outcomes for Eastland Port under some tight timeframes, and continue to be involved in helping shape the future of the port.
— Andrew Gaddum, General Manager Eastland Port

 

Eastland Port

Eastland Port

4Sight is currently working alongside Worley Parson engineers to deliver a range of port projects, including redeveloped cargo yard and wharf facilities, and continued maintenance dredging and offshore disposal for Eastland Port.

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