Property Development

Integrated Catchment Management

What is Integrated Catchment Management (ICM)? 

Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) is a component of environmental planning and research that recognizes the interdependence and cyclical nature of different ecosystems. It takes into account the complex relationships of different ecosystems and how it shapes the inhabitants of that ecosystem; compared to the individualistic approach that’s usually done when studying land or water systems.

The catchment or the river basin, serves as the center of the system. The main goal of ICM is managing the resources of the catchment and turning it into a sustainable system which consideration of the ecological and human factors around it.

It was with the prodding of the government through Landcare Research that the Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) was first employed as a project of improving research and resource management of the river basin, in relation to the rest of the property.  ICM has a multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder approach in handling information pertinent to the management of property resources such as land, water, as well as coastal areas.  

It became a model when it comes to environmental research because it ladder type approach; the elements level up from the microcosm of that catchment to the macrocosm of the entire property.  It entails thorough analysis of landforms, soil composition, vegetation, drainage concerns and land use specifications. 

We at Rural Design use ICM because it gives us a broad overview of land management. It provides us with an acute understanding of how elements from different ecosystems interact with one another and how different activities could impact these different ecosystems as a whole. It also helps us find better ways for land management that creates a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship with any development or human activity that will be done within that property.

Why Go for ICM

ICM has its critics because it involves considerable costs. But let us examine some of the factors why ICM makes sense as an approach in land management. 

● It gives an in-depth look at the land and all the elements surrounding it. - ICM provides a holistic approach to land management, giving you a better understanding of what your property can do.
● Exploring other opportunities for land management - As a landowner, you won’t be able to explore the potential of your river basin or land for that matter by just looking at it. ICM enables you to explore different opportunities where you can improve your property other than the one you initially planned. 
● Increasing its economic use - This is an offshoot after discovering the potential of your land. Many landowners use ICM in order to explore other possibilities of earning from their property other than developing it. 

Why Rural Design with ICM

Our experience with ICM enables us to run a research system that involves all aspects of a land, the physical as well as the natural elements on it.  Since its implementation a decade ago, we have been aiding landowners on how to maximize the use of their land through ICM.

We will analyze your property through mapping and appropriate design, using ICM, to determine critical elements and help you create the best possible design for your landscaping project.

The Importance of Resource and Land Use Consent on Property Development

Resource consent is the authorization given by the government for the use of resources within a given property, whereas land use is the process of getting an approval for land use.  The New Zealand Resource Management Act (RMA) authorizes the resource consent for all land activities, making it an important component of any landscaping, property development, or ecological restoration project.

Resource consent is important because it helps determine the impact of development and helps avoid any legal issues that may result from these activities. Without it, your project will suffer setbacks that can hamper your landscaping work and waste resources in the process.

Resource Consent For Landscaping and Restoration

There are actually 4 types of resource consent you’ll need for landscaping and revegetation:

1. Land use consent - a permit allowing the use of the land.
2. Water permit - allows the use of water resources within the area, including those that are inherent in the property.
3. Subdivision consent - a consent to use a piece of land for the construction of subdivision and housing units, with added specifications for other structures such as bridges or even buildings.
4. Coastal permit - a permit for the use of properties within coastal areas such as resorts and ports.  

In addition to resource consent, any development project would require a discharge permit. Discharge permit identifies the waste and by-products the project would produce and outlines the waste disposal plan. Almost all projects require discharge permits since almost any type of land activity, including restoration projects, produce some form of waste and proper waste disposal has to be addressed before the project can even begin.

The process and application for resource consent varies depending on the district or region. But for the most part, the type of development project that will be implemented, the impact of that project on the environment and community, and the legality of projects are the main factors that determine whether or not the resource consent would be approved. RMA also has the right to reject applications that are found inaccurate and less detailed, and that the approval of the application would take 20 working days the least, depending on the complexity and scale of the application.

Challenges With Resource Consent Application

For the most part, the resource consent application process is straightforward. But the process can be challenging for most property owners. 

First, the processing time of these applications before they are granted could take weeks or months causing project delays.

Second, the cost of the consent. The minimum cost of a resource consent  in Wellington District, for example, is about 90 dollars per hour. This does not include the cost of preparation, from employing inspectors to complying consent conditions. 

And last is the paperwork required in the process. Resource consent application requirements vary from district to district but most do require environmental assessment, consultations with stakeholders, project proposals, local permits, so on and so forth. The process can be so complicated and expensive at times which can frustrate some people to the point they no longer wish to continue with it.

But with the help of a professional, your project will have the consent documents it needs faster, easier and with less fuss. At Rural Design, we can help you prepare your documents, and assist you with all types of consent applications, including from the District Resource Consents and Regional Landuse Consents.

Our long time partnership with different districts allows us to assist you with your resource consent application in a comprehensive way.  We can also help draft a suitable application for you and your project. so no need to worry about project delays or added cost. From resource consents to project implementation, we are your “one-stop shop” that you can rely on for all your rural landscaping and restoration needs.

How Developing Wetlands Help

Wetlands prove their importance as living habitats of many creatures. Apart from their environmental importance, they also have their agricultural and recreational purposes. They help prevent floods, purify water and more. These natural bodies of water are miracle workers and they greatly help the environment they are situated in.

The problem is the fact that these bodies of water are becoming extinct. They are dying. Human activities have caused such a thing to happen. Without wetlands, flooding has become frequent, living for animals has become difficult, and crops are no longer available. These all affect us—our livelihood, our homes and even our survival. That is why a call for wetland restoration is required.

One should understand the benefits of wetland restoration to be able to appreciate it. These benefits are:

Land value increase. 

Wetlands can be used to fulfill requirements for land development like subdivisions. One can earn another title from half a hectare of wetland depending on where you live. There are also matters on when not using wetlands.

For ecological protection and development, all subdivision plans should present features such as wetlands. Assessment must be provided for the presence of such waters. To further give effect to ecological restoration, the local council gives conditional consent for these subdivisions depending on the assessment. Once the subdivision consent is granted, developers should carry out the conditions provided by the council. After that, they can finally issue two new title certificates from the additional site from subdivision.

Good business investment. 

Wetland conservation can become a profitable business for anyone. Wetlands are natural pieces of art. Local and foreign visitors would like to come take a look at it for themselves. That is why, establishing a business near or making a business out of the wetlands is a great idea. It would be best, however, to create a business out of the wetland's naturalness. Modifications might not be helped in its development, but try to keep it small.

Pure water resources. 

Another wonder that a wetland does is creating pure drinking water. Profit can be made when this idea can be systematically conceptualized. And since the process of purification is regularly done, business can happen long-term.

Reduces cost. 

Since wetlands have the ability to sponge up running water from land, they can reduce floods. These also help in lessening dam construction, which costs the government a lot of money to do. Wetland development not only benefits the developer (or landowner) but also those living nearby. 

Helps restore the ecosystem.

Ecological restoration becomes part of wetland restoration. When wetlands are preserved, the vegetation around the wetland is nourished. These vegetations in turn prevent soil erosion. Other ecological components that are saved by this restoration are animal habitats.

Livable habitat. 

Wetlands are able to nurture the surroundings and thus build a livable habitat. Water creatures thrive in these bodies of waters while land creatures live around it. Land animals maximize the wetlands with the food and shelter it provides. The presence of these animals are more or less in the interest of many public and private sectors. Thus having them survive is a role we take in wetland management.

Migratory animals also take shelter in these places. Together with their arrival, they bring about pollination and species reproduction. These then help in the survival of both plant and animal survival.

Crop and pastoral resource. 

Farmers can benefit in using wetlands for their crops and animals. These resources will help keep their crops moist and their animals fed. It would be much easier to say that wetlands would not have them cost a thing, actually.

Know that you are not alone in this endeavor. There are organizations and businesses that specialize in wetland restoration like RuralDesign. We can help you with your wetland management needs.