All project teams for Waka Kotahi land transport infrastructure construction projects and maintenance and operations (M&O) contracts are required to develop an environmental management plan (EMP). 

Guidance and templates for preparing EMPs are provided below.

What is the purpose of an EMP?

One of the various ways that Waka Kotahi sets out to achieve environmental responsibility and manage risk is by requiring EMPs to be developed and implemented for all construction and M&O activities. EMPs:

  • establish environmental processes and procedures to minimise negative effects on the environment.
  • assist Waka Kotahi to deliver the intended environmental and sustainability outcomes of construction, operation and maintenance activities undertaken by our contractors
  • provide a process through which an environmental management system can be implemented during a contract between us and our contractors and consultants
  • set out accountability for both the contract team and Waka Kotahi as the client
  • show how the contract will achieve compliance with permitted activities under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), resource consent conditions, designation conditions, archaeological authorities and Department of Conservation concessions.

Higher risk or more complex environmental aspects will need a sub-plan due to the specialist level of management detail required. For example, a pest plant management, construction noise, archaeological and heritage management plan could be required. These sub-plans will be integrated with the overall management plan framework.

Who needs to prepare the EMP?

The responsibility to produce an EMP rests with the physical works contractor. The professional services consultant ensures the plan is prepared, maintained and recommended as fit for purpose to Waka Kotahi.

However, it is becoming common practice for RMA or other environmental permit applications to include a draft EMP, which is usually prepared by a professional services consultant as part of the consent application. The consenting strategy will determine whether an EMP is lodged with the RMA application.

Consenting and consent compliance

EMPs are a living document and require review and updating to ensure they remain relevant to the contract.

EMP review and approval

EMPs must be submitted to the Waka Kotahi project or contract manager (and copied to the Waka Kotahi Safe and Sustainable Standards Team, for approval prior to construction for capital projects (the timing of which is specified in contract documents) and four months after the contract start date for M&O works.

EMP review and approval by Waka Kotahi will entail checking that the requirements of this guideline and the project contract have been met.

Depending on the project phase, all procedures, plans and programmes that are cross referenced within the EMP must be finalised and made available for review as part of the EMP approval process.

Submission of draft EMPs

In some circumstances a draft EMP may be submitted with a notice of requirement, outline plan of work or resource consent application in order to provide detail of the work scope, methodology and management procedures to support the application (for example, where a contractor is appointed, and work commencement is imminent). In this case, the draft EMP must be submitted to Waka Kotahi for review along with the draft application documents.

The draft EMP, depending on project stage, may not have all the information required to fully meet the requirements of this guideline. The final EMP is to be resubmitted once a project has received approvals and before work has commenced for a capital project, and within four months of the contract start date for M&O works.

Guidance and templates for EMPs

Sub-plan guidance

Higher risk environmental aspects will need to have a sub-plan due to the specialist level of management detail required.

For detailed guidance on management of particular environmental risks, refer to the pages on specific technical areas pages. Sub-plan templates may be available, for example a construction noise and vibration management plan template is available under the noise and vibration pages. 

Further information

For further information contact