Ecological Mitigation and Offset Development

We provide clarity and assurance for clients by designing mitigation and offset compensation programmes that save both time and money.

Development projects can result in adverse effects on the natural environment which may need to be compensated for as a part of seeking resource consent.

Mitigation is often needed on-site to minimise ecological impacts. Sometimes offset compensation is required off-site where residual ecological effects require ecological enhancement work. Both approaches help ensure that the nett effects of a development are no more than minor.

Clients often ask questions such as:

  • How much ecological survey is needed?
  • Can mitigation be planned that meets my project needs?
  • Are there options for doing offset compensation and what are the costs?
  • Is there a clear process that I can understand for determining the amount of offsets required?
  • I often feel like I’m being led by technical specialists – is there a process whereby I’m in control?

Our ecological specialists provide strategic advice and planning for ecological mitigation and offsets – with the client central to the decision-making process.

We use the latest tried-and-tested methods for estimating the type, amount and estimated cost of compensation required for a specific project, following international guidance, NZ technical experience and NZ case law outcomes.

Offsetting is being promoted strongly by Councils and Department of Conservation as a method of estimating ecological impacts providing robust, numerical estimates on what and how much needs to be replaced to balance effects that are not able to be avoided by a development. 

Offsetting provides a robust, transparent and comparative basis for clients – from the beginning of the project development process. The information from the offset calculation process can also be used as part of RMA planning and significance assessments

Benefits of adopting offsetting approaches are:

  • Clients can determine approximate compensation options and costs before committing to a project design
  • Clients can see what level of ecological survey is required – without needing to commit to extensive and potentially expensive ecological surveys
  • Clients have greater assurance of projected mitigation and compensation costs
  • A transparent process and robust solution facilitates open discussion with regulators.

Our experience indicates that using these tools encourages trust, dialogue and faster decision-making with regulators and interest groups.

Offset tools are a superior replacement for the current subjective and ad hoc approach, which is often led by regulators and can involve lengthy litigation to reach an agreed solution.  

Expertise

T+T has an extensive range of expertise in mitigation and offset compensation development:

  • Our extensive field experience means that efficient, effective solutions can be tailored for individual situations
  • Our broad experience with habitat enhancement, species protection and revegetation provides a solid basis for decision-making, options assessment and cost analysis
  • Our depth of experience with land management and ecological restoration means that the solutions we propose are practical and pragmatic and the risks are clearly known and managed
  • Our working knowledge of government agencies and Councils means that potential ecological issues are clearly identified and addressed as part of ecological assessment and mitigation planning for the client
  • Our high standard of work provides a solid basis for decision-making and gives clear direction for implementing offsets “on the ground”