Reconsenting a landfill: how we helped EnviroWaste Hampton Downs

At a glance...

The client

EnviroNZ are an environmentally responsible resource recovery and management company. This project was for their EnviroWaste division.

The challenge

We were asked to assess the ecological effects of reconsenting their Hampton Downs landfill, including the ongoing protection of the black mudfish population.

The outcome

A robust and timely assessment of effects to support the resource consent application.


The discharge from landfill sites can pose a threat to their surrounding environments. Richard Montgomerie, Ecological Solutions’ Managing Director, was involved in assessing the ecological effects of EnviroWaste’s landfill discharge at Hampton Downs in the Waikato in the late 1990’s. So when it came time to apply for a renewal of resource consent, our client came to us for help.

The ask

“The stormwater and landfill leachate that is generated from landfills must be managed responsibly with regards to the surrounding environment.”

Susan Mckegg | Freshwater Ecologist, Ecological Solutions

Leachate is the water or liquid that drains away from landfills. Depending on the waste that it leeches from, it may be toxic to the plants and animals in the surrounding area. In order to manage their landfill discharge responsibly, EnviroWaste had constructed a water treatment system that protects the environment, including a constructed wetland to treat stormwater.

“This wetland now provides great habitat for black mudfish, which EnviroWaste has monitored.”

To continue operating, the site needed to apply for resource reconsent. Our client wanted to extend the consent to cover the lifetime of the landfill. As part of that application, we were asked to prepare an assessment of ecological effects (AEE). This formed a critical part of the resource consent application.

Why us?

“We have a trusted relationship with this client, having provided a number of ecological services and advice in the past, including when the landfill was established.”

AEEs are one of our core services. Having produced these throughout the country, and many times in the Waikato specifically, we had the skills and experience to undertake a robust assessment that analysed a highly sensitive, protected species (black mudfish), a protected habitat (wetland), and heavily modified water courses.
So when our long-term client needed to secure reconsent to continue their operations, we were the natural choice.

Our solution

We prepared a robust ecological AEE. In order to do that, we conducted surveys.

“We performed a number of aquatic surveys to determine whether and how the landfill was impacting the ecology of the receiving environment; what species were there, and how the communities had changed over time.”

Having conducted surveys in the area previously, we knew its evolution well.

“Fortunately the black mudfish that we found were at a size that suggested they were reproducing, so this was good news for the ecological health of the area.”


The results

“Our survey work confirmed that the landfill was not having a detrimental effect on the ecology of the receiving environment.

As a result, our client was able to submit a timely and robust AEE as part of their application for long-term resource consent.”

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