Incite have experience at providing a full range of planning and resource management services, including policy development, policy analysis, resource consenting and designations.

This page provides examples of projects we have been involved in, sometimes in a leadership role, others in partnership with the organisation involved. Please do get in touch with us if you would like to know more about our work.

The stunning Marlborough Sounds, a major part of our work on the Marlborough Environment Plan.

Regional Policy and Plans

Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan

Since 2011, Incite has worked alongside Environment Canterbury on the development of the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan (CLWRP) and six subsequent plan changes to introduce catchment specific land and water management regimes. The CLWRP sets out the integrated management of land and water resources in the Canterbury region. Incite’s role in the development of the CLWRP and plan changes included drafting provisions, preparing section 32 and section 42A reports and presenting these at the plan hearings.

From 2018, we have assisted with Plan Change 7 to the CLWRP, which comprises three separate parts, including amendments to implement National Policy Statements and address emerging environmental issues; and the introduction of specific land and water management regimes for the Orari-Temuka-Opihi-Pareora and Waimakariri sub-regions. These provisions are Environment Canterbury’s response to the local zone committees’ recommendations for managing water resources in their sub-regions.  The Plan Change has attracted considerable public interest, with over 560 submissions. Incite’s highly experienced team have worked closely with Environment Canterbury’s policy and science staff to tackle the complex water management issues while navigating the changing legislative environment for freshwater management in New Zealand.

New Otago Regional Policy Statement

Incite is currently assisting Otago Regional Council to prepare a new Regional Policy Statement. This has included developing policy papers for consultation with Reference Groups, drafting provisions for a range of topics (including land and fresh water, coast, biodiversity and infrastructure) and preparing the section 32 evaluation report. The new RPS will implement the National Planning Standards and respond to a range of new national direction introduced in 2020, including the National Policy Statement for Freshwater management.

Proposed Otago Regional Policy Statement Effectiveness & Efficiency review

In 2020, Incite was commissioned to undertake an effectiveness and efficiency review of the Partially Operative Otago Regional Policy Statement 2019. The review considered the extent to which the Policy Statement implemented higher order documents, including the National Planning Standards, and assessed the usability and suitability of the provisions specifically. As the RPS is not yet fully operative, Incite’s review was targeted to key areas and issues and was used to inform the preparation of a new RPS for Otago.

Otago plan changes

Through 2019 and 2020, Incite assisted Otago Regional Council to prepare Plan Change 8 (Discharge Management) to the Regional Water Plan and Plan Change 1 (Dust Suppressants and Landfills) to the Regional Waste Plan. This included provision drafting, consultation with stakeholders and preparing the accompanying section 32 evaluation report. Incite also assisted with preparing the section 32 evaluation for Plan Change 7 (Water Permits) to the Regional Water Plan.

Section 42A reports on proposed Marlborough Environment Plan

Several of Incite’s team have been involved in preparing and presenting Section 42A reports to the Hearing Panel on the proposed Marlborough Environment Plan. These have covered a broad range of topics including indigenous biodiversity, rural areas, utilities, discharges, forestry and land disturbance.

Effectiveness and efficiency review of the Regional Coastal Plan for Southland

In 2018, Incite was commissioned to prepare a report assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Regional Coastal Plan for Southland, as a first stage of preparing for a new Coastal Plan.

The report assessed the effectiveness of the Plan by examining its outputs (including consents, compliance and monitoring data), the outcomes that have been achieved over the life of the Plan, and the usability and suitability of the planning framework generally. It also assessed the efficiency (including costs and benefits) of the Plan, and outlined the change factors and emerging issues that will be important for the new Plan to address.

New Regional Coastal Plan for Southland

Environment Southland has commenced a review of the Regional Coastal Plan for Southland and is preparing issues and options papers on a range of topics to inform initial policy discussions with councillors and iwi through 2019 and 2020 before a new plan is notified in 2021. Incite is leading the preparation of papers for the use of resources in the coastal marine area, management of infrastructure and structures, and air quality. We are also providing technical planning review of papers drafted by Environment Southland staff, assisting with the development of Drafting Guidelines and providing advice on plan structure and format for the new Coastal Plan.

Development of the Proposed Southland Water and Land Plan

Since 2015, Incite has assisted Environment Southland with the development of the Proposed Southland Water and Land Plan. This has included drafting the Plan and accompanying section 32 evaluation report, preparing section 42A hearing reports and presenting these during the hearing, and preparing and presenting planning evidence at the Environment Court on behalf of Environment Southland. The Plan replaces three existing plans and attracted over 900 submissions, making it a large and complex planning project. Incite’s highly experienced team has provided expert planning advice and support from the initial stages of this project and continues to assist Environment Southland through the Environment Court appeals process.

Waikato Regional Plan Change 1 – Healthy Rivers

Incite’s team has led the preparation of the section 42A report and attendance at the hearing. The Incite team have been able to bring experience from elsewhere in the country to help make PC1 more workable, including effective ways to use Overseer, NPS-FM interpretation, and techniques for getting the most from farm environment plans.  The team has worked closely with the Council’s policy team, including mentoring several Council staff in the s42A reporting process.

District Plans

Section 42A reports on proposed Marlborough Environment Plan

Several of Incite’s team have been involved in preparing and presenting Section 42A reports to the Hearing Panel on the proposed Marlborough Environment Plan. These have covered a broad range of topics including indigenous biodiversity, rural areas, utilities, discharges, forestry and land disturbance.

Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan

Incite were part of a group of planners who assisted Regenerate Christchurch in 2018 in preparing the Christchurch District Plan provisions that formed part of the draft Regeneration Plan for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor. This involved working alongside other planners, including those representing the Christchurch City Council and Ngāi Tahu, to develop a set of plan provisions that would facilitate the vision and objectives set out in the draft Regeneration Plan. Adding to the challenge of working under alternate legislation to the Resource Management Act, was working to deliver the draft Plan to the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration within a very tight timeframe.

Hurunui Second Generation District Plan

In the early stages of the Hurunui District Plan review process, Incite was engaged to undertake a project leadership role, stepping in after the responsible staff member resigned. We provided project oversight and led councillor workshops on plan development, peer reviewed the drafting of provisions and section 32 reports and oversaw the section 42A reporting. This required working alongside Council planners, assisting them to develop their analysis and reporting skills, while ensuring the end products were well-reasoned and defensible. As well as presenting at the hearing, we also helped other authors to prepare for the hearing and coordinated the final response to the hearings panel. Following appeals on the Council decision, Incite staff were engaged to act as the Council’s expert planning witnesses at Environment Court mediation. All appeals were settled at mediation.

Selwyn District Plan Review

Incite was engaged to draft plan provisions and the section 32 report for the commercial and industrial chapters of the proposed Selwyn District Plan, based on technical recommendations and preliminary directions from the relevant Council Committee. This involved working alongside Council staff to ensure the detail of the provisions were fit-for-purpose and addressed existing implementation issues.

Timaru District Plan Review

Incite has assisted with drafting plan provisions and the section 32 reports for the commercial, noise, versatile soils and contaminated land chapters of the proposed Plan. This involved taking initial direction from the Council and translating this into Plan provisions, following the specific drafting process set up by Timaru District Council. The quality of our drafting, as well as our ability to work effectively and flexibly within the established systems led to us undertaking work on multiple topics.

Queenstown District Plan Review

Incite has been assisting the Otago Regional Council in relation to appeals on Stages 1 and 2 of the proposed Queenstown Lakes District Plan. This role is focussed on providing advice and evidence in relation to whether the Plan’s provisions appropriately give effect to the operative and proposed Regional Policy Statements. Our staff have attended a number of mediations and has provided evidence on the Topic 1, 3 and 4 hearings.

Mentoring & Professional Development

In-house training

Incite provided an in-house training series for Environment Canterbury on submission analysis and Section 42A Reporting. Participants were given personalised feedback on exercises undertaken during the training series that they were able to take on board in their subsequent work.

Upskilling through plan processes

Incite have also worked alongside Hurunui District Council during their Hurunui District Plan review and Environment Southland during the development of their Southland Water and Land Plan, to support staff responsible for specific chapters, while also providing overall project leadership. This allowed their team members to gain experience within each plan process while ensuring work was robust.

Infrastructure Projects

National Grid Switching Station and Transmission Line

This project involved obtaining designations for a new Transpower switching station and transmission line spur to connect a new gas fired power station in Taranaki to the National Grid. Incite led the designation process and prepared the necessary notices of requirement which were processed on a limited notified basis and confirmed in 2017 without the need for a hearing following the resolution of matters raised in the only submission.

Rural Connectivity Group

Incite acts in a project management role for RCG to manage the environmental approvals across numerous sites and ensures that the relevant approvals are in place to enable construction within the allocated timeframes. Incite provides site selection advice during the initial design phase to overcome the site specific challenges that some locations can pose for new utility services, including those located in places identified for their natural and amenity values, and recognises that there are specific operational and technical requirements for infrastructure which make site identification challenging.

Aerial Fibre Deployment

Incite lead a team of planners, landscape architects and arborists in the resource consent programme for Chorus’s Ultra Fast Fibre (UFB) aerial deployment in Auckland, Wellington and Gisborne.   This involved working with Chorus deployment specialists to devise an aerial deployment architecture overlaid on existing overhead copper and electricity networks that was feasible and visually appropriate, and obtaining area based global consents based on the deployment architecture.  The resource consents were obtained on a non-notified basis and enabled Chorus to meet their UFB obligations with the NZ Government in these cities.  The deployment rules adopted for the consent programme have now largely been adopted as permitted activity rules in the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Telecommunication Facilities) Regulations 2016.

Tasman Global Access Cable

One of many submarine cable projects Incite has been involved in is the Tasman Global Access cable between Raglan NZ and Sydney Australia jointly funded by Spark New Zealand Trading Limited, Vodafone New Zealand Limited and Telstra Australia.  Incite was responsible for environmental consenting within New Zealand jurisdiction including terrestrial cable and cable station infrastructure, coastal permits in the Coastal Marine Area, and pre-activity notification of works between the outer extent of the Coastal Marine Area and the edge of the Continental Shelf under regulations to the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012.  Consents were granted in 2015 and the cable was put into service in 2017.  The cable provides improved international band width capacity to New Zealand along with strengthened diversity and resilience for New Zealand’s communications infrastructure.

Spark Mobile Network Capacity Augmentation Project

As part of this nationwide Spark project undertaken in 2018 and 2019, Incite planners assisted Spark with their multidisciplinary site selection process, and obtained the necessary RMA resource consents and certificates of compliance for approximately 100 new mobile sites throughout New Zealand.  The project required delivery of consents, property rights and construction within tight timeframes, and planning advice was focussed on avoiding consents were practicable and where consents were required to minimise consenting risk through siting and design.

Huapai Primary School

An example of one of the many school projects Incite has undertaken, this project is an example of the end to end processes of site selection, due diligence and designation in which Incite is often involved.  In this project, Incite led a site selection study for the Ministry of Education involving a multi-disciplinary project team in the fast developing north western part of Huapai, a rural satellite town near Auckland, and recommended a site for acquisition and designation.  Incite then provided the planning input to a due diligence study of the recommended option leading to this site being acquired by the Crown for a school.  Incite led the designation process for this school including consultation and preparation of the notice of requirement, and provided expert planning evidence at the hearing, culminating in a designation being confirmed for the site and a new school being constructed in 2018/2019.

Resource Consents and Feasibility Studies

Hurunui Splash

Incite assisted with the preparation of regional consent applications to establish and maintain new freshwater bathing sites within four rivers in the Hurunui-Waiau Zone; Dog Stream Hurunui River, Waiau Uwha River and the Waitohi River. The first of the four sites, within the Hurunui River was completed in late 2018. More about the development of this site can be read here and here.

The activities contribute to the wider “Hurunui Splash” project, which is a collaborative effort by the Hurunui Waiau Zone Committee, Environment Canterbury and the Hurunui District Council to improve priority bathing sites and enhance recreational values within the Hurunui District.