Benefits of Monitoring

Although the law ( s.35 ) requires monitoring, it is more than a statutory requirement. Monitoring is common sense because it tells us if we are on track. The primary benefit of environmental monitoring is to check that your policy statement, plan, or condition on a resource consent has resulted in the environmental outcome you expected. It provides information to understand the current state of the environment and assess whether things are getting better or worse. Monitoring provides a number of real benefits for both the council and the community. Monitoring:

  • can give early warning of issues or problems before they become serious, costly or irreversible

  • prompts organisations to adjust when monitoring shows that current approaches are not working and helps prepare us to respond effectively to any changes

  • provides a better understanding of the key pressures on the environment, the condition or state of the environment, leading to better responses and results

  • provides information to enable more robust and defensible policies and decisions

  • enables action to be taken to increase policy and plan effectiveness, so reducing costs

  • provides information on the efficiency and effectiveness of processes used by local authorities in exercising powers or performing their functions and duties (including delegated or transferred functions). 

  • contributes to a range of other monitoring systems (including social and economic) and can enable integration of information management systems and organisational decision-making

  • protects investment in plans and policy statements by leading to better formulation of policies and methods for implementing policies (including rules) and clearer targets

  • provides accountability

  • enables more effective participation in resource management and community development and education at the local level

  • enables more targeted consent conditions, more appropriately designed rules and standards, and more efficient processing of consents, resulting from a better understanding of likely changes to the environment and a smoother process for consent holders.