Terms of Reference: Land Technical Advisory Group

Terms of Reference: Land Technical Advisory Group

6 May 2014

1. Purpose and scope of the LandTAG

To provide independent technical science and economics advice to BOPRC and other organisations on catchment land uses, associated contaminant losses to water and land-based methods of mitigating those losses.

The LandTAG’s spatial scope will be staged as follows:

  1. An initial focus within the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme on meeting prescribed nutrient loss targets from rural land, especially the Lake Rotorua catchment.
  2. A later expansion to other Bay of Plenty catchments and issues other than nutrient losses from rural land, as policy develops on setting water body and catchment targets.

2. Functions

The LandTAG will give advice on:

  1. Nutrient losses and associated mitigation methods across current and potential future land uses and farm systems. Mitigation includes land use change, novel alternative land uses, developing technology and practices, and land management change.
  2. Good nutrient practices associated with major land uses and farm system types.
  3. Cost-effectiveness, risks, certainty and barriers to uptake in regard to nutrient mitigation options and good nutrient practice.
  4. Identification of gaps and priorities in land-based science, economic impacts and extension (education and engagement) to rural landowners.
  5. Technical advice on specific mitigation techniques and proposals.
  6. Input to BOPRC project briefs, including technical analyses to underpin statutory land use policy, rules and implementation (including nutrient allocation and trading) and non-statutory incentives and other methods.
  7. Drivers for and impacts from conversions to more intensive land uses.
  8. Advice on what relevant land research is occurring and how to exploit synergies
  9. Options to influence external research and research funding agencies.
  10. Interaction with Lakes Water Quality Technical Advisory Group to ensure synergies, including:
    • Integration of mitigation actions and timing
    • Modelling integration across farm, catchment and lake scales
    • Interactions between nitrogen and phosphorus reductions.

Land TAG functions additional to the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme will be determined by BOPRC at a later date. Meanwhile, it is noted that the above advice functions will be relevant to multiple Bay of Plenty catchment facing potential nutrient constraints.

3. Membership

The Land TAG membership will comprise:

  1. Representatives from the following professional disciplines (members may cover several disciplines):
    • Farm systems analysis
    • Nutrient dynamics (soil-plant-animal-water-atmosphere-inputs-outputs)
    • Farm economics and modelling
    • Catchment economics and modelling
    • Forestry
    • Horticulture
    • Matauranga Maori
    • Knowledge exchange and behaviour change
  2. Relevant staff from Bay of Plenty Regional Council
  3. Relevant staff from Rotorua District Council and Te Arawa Lakes Trust while the Land TAG is focused on the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme.
  4. A convenor appointed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council management.
  5. A representative from the Lakes Water Quality Technical Advisory Group.
  6. Land TAG membership can be fluid, reflecting changes to priorities, the evolving research and operational programmes, staff roles and availability. At the Land TAG convenor’s discretion, additional people can be invited to participate on a short or long term basis.

4. Meetings and Reporting,

The purpose of the Land TAG is to work as an informal forum of experts, as follows:

  1. Meet up to four times annually as required
  2. Operate by consensus
  3. The Land TAG convenor is responsible for:
    • Circulating agendas and minutes to Land TAG members
    • Liaison with other groups e.g. Lake Rotorua Catchment Stakeholder Advisory Group.
  4. Formal reporting is to BOPRC on regional issues and RTALSG on lake programme issues.

5. Confidentiality and Financial Support

  1. Minutes of Land TAG meeting are public documents. Agenda items can be raised in confidence, to aid free and frank discussion, and excluded from the minutes by agreement during a meeting.
  2. Land TAG does not have mandate to initiate projects or incur costs beyond meeting related costs, with any projects subject to external approval processes of BOPRC and others.
  3. BOPRC will pay actual and reasonable time and expenses for Land TAG members.

6. Terms of Reference Review

As the work of the Land TAG begins to extend into the wider regional issues these Terms of Reference will be reviewed. This will ensure in particular that the TAG membership and reporting processes reflect the issues under discussion.

7. Limitations of scope

  1. The Land TAG cannot commission work or engage consultants in its own right.
  2. The Land TAG shall not make public statements other than as agreed with BOPRC.