Environmental reports

A list of reports, articles, or published letters about environmental agencies or environmental matters.
Crown investment in freshwater clean-up

September 2019: We examined how the Ministry for the Environment administered four Crown freshwater clean-up funds for improving lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands. Our primary objective was to assess whether Crown funding was being used effectively to improve freshwater quality.

Managing freshwater quality: Challenges and opportunities

September 2019: In 2011, we published a report on how effectively Waikato Regional Council, Taranaki Regional Council, Horizons Regional Council, and Environment Southland managed the effects of land use on freshwater quality in their regions. We found that the effectiveness of the four regional councils' approaches was variable. In this report, we assess the progress they have made since 2011.

Author portrait picture Responding to a changing climate

Sector Manager Kristin Aitken from our Local Government team delves into some of the terms used by councils and experts in their efforts to address the effects of climate change. She also takes a look at what councils are already doing, and what they need to consider for their next long-term plans.

Using different processes to protect marine environments

June 2019: This report looks at how two groups used two different processes that generated advice to Ministers for establishing marine protection, including marine reserves. Each group used a process that was different in terms of its origin, purpose, scope, and expected outcomes. We examined how inclusive, transparent, and well informed the processes were to identify lessons that could be applied to support the establishment of other marine protection measures.

Managing the supply of and demand for drinking water

September 2018: We audited three district councils (Horowhenua District Council, Kāpiti Coast District Council, and Manawatu District Council) and one city council (Palmerston North City Council) to understand the challenges they face in supplying drinking water to their communities. We looked at what these four councils are doing to influence demand for drinking water and whether they are taking an integrated approach, using financial and non-financial methods.

Managing freshwater quality: Challenges for regional councils

September 2011: We carried out an audit to provide an independent view of how effectively four selected regional councils are managing and controlling land use and related activities for the purpose of maintaining and enhancing freshwater quality in their regions...

The Emissions Trading Scheme - summary information for public entities and auditors

August 2011: This document informs public entities and their auditors about how the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) operates and how it is likely to affect them. It summarises information about the ETS that we have gathered from the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Ministry of Economic Development…

Planning to meet the forecast demand for drinking water in Auckland

August 2011: A letter from the Auditor-General to the Chief Executives of Auckland Council and Watercare Services Limited on governance issues and a report on our initial findings and recommendations for Watercare to consider when developing its long-term plans for asset management and for funding arrangements...

Waste management planning by territorial authorities

April 2007: All territorial authorities must adopt a waste management plan. In this audit, we checked whether all had done so, and whether six were implementing them. Some of the plans were out of date or did not contain all the information we expected...