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Canterbury Resource Management Award Winners 2008


October 29, 2008

MEDIA STATEMENT

Canterbury Resource Management Award Winners 2008

The Opuha Dam Water Management Project is the supreme winner of the Resource Management Awards, which were announced today by Environment Canterbury (ECan) at a ceremony in Christchurch.

The project, which has been in operation for ten years, has enabled significant areas of South Canterbury land to be irrigated and generates power. Judges said the project contributes to the sustainable management of resources by using water in a way that enables people and communities to provide for their social and economic wellbeing. The project is also the winner of the Commercial Industrial category.

Joint winners of the Individual category are Colin Burrows for his involvement with the restoration of Quail Island in Lyttelton Harbour and Tom and Jen McElrea for Washpen Falls at Windwhistle.

- Dr Burrows has played a major role in initiating, planning, designing and implementing the ecological work on Quail Island. After ten years, close to 25 hectares of the island has been planted in indigenous vegetation by volunteers.

- Tom and Jen McElrea have preserved and enhanced 90 ha of native forest and area of unique geological interest on their farm at Windwhistle. The bush includes a significant area of southern rata, with extensive ongoing work to protect this stand from pests, wilding pines and other weeds. The McElreas charge a small visitor fee to cover the cost of track enhancements, ablution and recreation facilities. More than 10,000 people have visited this area.

The Community category winner is the Pahau River Enhancement Group at Culverden, North Canterbury.

The group has improved water quality in the Pahau River by reducing levels of phosphorous and E.coli bacteria. It achieved this by double-fencing to prevent stock access to waterways, redirecting border-dyke residual water into detention ponds, and improving irrigation and effluent management. Efforts were supported by research and a number of workshops and field days. Judges said a significant aspect of the project is that it required action from 16 or so large properties and the Amuri Irrigation Company.

Highly commended were the Otamahua/Quail Island Restoration Trust and Northern Pegasus Bay Coastal Management Plan Steering Committee, which also won the Landcare Research Special Award for Sustainable Management of Land Resources. The New Zealand Conservation Trust nest egg programme for three South Island Kiwi species received a Special Commendation.

Gunnar Lundaahl won the Professional / Institutional category for his work on riparian projects in the Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere area. Gunnar is a self-employed manager and consultant on native plantings along riparian areas with his own nursery of 30-35,000 eco-sourced native seedlings. Each season, Gunnar plants 10-12,000 seedlings and takes responsibility for both weed and pest management. Planting on the first property started about 18 years ago and he still returns to plant specimen trees (totara, matai, kahikatea) among the established trees. His passion for the environment and his hard-working professionalism in going the 'extra mile' is highly respected. He also gives away about a 1000 plants each season.


Winner of the Landcare Research Special Award for Sustainable Management of Land Resources is the Northern Pegasus Bay Coastal Management Plan Steering Committee. The group showed outstanding commitment to their local communities in using participatory processes to develop the Northern Pegasus Bay Coastal Management Plan. This involved 36 meetings (each averaging about three hours) over 20 months to get consensus outcomes across very diverse and often polarised stakeholder groups, statutory authorities and communities. “We know of no other project in New Zealand that has achieved what they have in producing this plan, and have no doubt that the group will continue their work in seeing the plan through the next stages,” judges said.

BioGenCool energy from dairy waste is the winner of the EECA Special Award for Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Renewable Energy. The project aims are the generation of energy using cow manure, greater energy self-sufficiency on-farm and conversion of cow manure to fertiliser. Judges said BioGenCool is a highly creative technology using a systems approach to take dairy waste and convert it to useful on-farm resources. The project is bringing together different technologies to create an integrated system within a dairy farm.

Bellfarm Electronics has won the NIWA Special Award for Innovative Approaches to the Sustainability of Canterbury's Water Resources. Bellfarm Electronics has developed electronic remote monitoring systems for water supply irrigators. The purpose is to remotely manage water to avoid wastage. The system has been in use for ten years and is used by both private and public sector parties.

Winner of Te Mata o te Tuatara Te Rünanga o Ngäi Tahu Special Heritage Award is the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, which is a collaboration between Kaikoura District Council, the Department of Conservation and Te Runanga O Kaikoura. The judges said the project shows how well the three organisations worked together with the local community.

Youth Hostel Association Central City Christchurch is the winner of the Southern Region Sustainable Business Networks’ Canterbury Special Award for 2008. The judges commended the YHA hostel for their ongoing efforts and dedication to improving their sustainability across all eight areas of the Network’s annual ‘Get Sustainable Challenge’.

Bronte Davenport from Craighead Diocesan School in Timaru is the winner of the Wrybill Resource Management Award for schools. Bronte studied why more families were not using the walking school bus concept and set about improving the uptake.

The Environment Canterbury Future Environmentalist is Holly Gardiner from Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti School in Christchurch. Among many environmental activities, Holly is a founding member of her school’s environmental group. She represented her school at many environmental activities and contributes a column to her school newsletter called ‘Green space’ with sustainability messages for students and families

The Environmental Awareness Award, which is a partnership between Environment Canterbury and Tai Poutini Polytechnic Digger School, has been awarded to Tom Sherson. Tom demonstrated an excellent practical understanding of environmental outcomes and an interest in applying environmental awareness skills to the job.

This year’s Environment Canterbury Award for Excellence in Environmental Journalism went to Rebecca Macfie of the Listener for a feature on the proposed Central Plains Water irrigation scheme. The judges said it was well-researched, well-written and even-handed. Readers would have been left with a clear understanding of the issues and the protagonists' views.


FULL LIST OF CANTERBURY RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AWARD WINNERS 2008

Supreme Winner

Opuha Dam water storage project

Individual Category

Joint Winners

Colin Burrows for his involvement with the restoration of Quail Island

Tom and Jen McElrea for Washpen Falls at Windwhistle

Finalists

Phil Garrett for Boggy Creek Stream enhancement near Halswell

Andrew Crossland for raising awareness of birdlife and habitat

Community Category

Winner

Pahau River Enhancement Group, Culverden

Highly Commended

Otamahua/Quail Island Restoration Trust

Northern Pegasus Bay Coastal Management Plan Steering Committee (also Landcare Special Award)

Special Commendation

New Zealand Conservation Trust nest egg programme for three South Island Kiwi species

Finalists

Project Lyttelton

Prebbleton Nature Park

Professional / Institutional Category

Winner

Riparian projects Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere area - Gunnar Lundaahl

Finalists

Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway - Te Runanga O Kaikoura, Kaikoura District Council and the Department of Conservation

Stormwater management initiatives - Waimakariri District Council

Commercial / Industrial Category

Winner

Opuha Dam water storage project

Finalists

Resene Paints paint and packaging disposal programme

Bellfarm Electronics automated water control system

AgRecovery rural recycling programme

Terra Lana Products Ltd for recycling and insulation


Specials Awards

Landcare Research Special Award for Sustainable Management of Land Resources

Northern Pegasus Bay Coastal Management Plan Steering Committee

The EECA Special Award for Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Renewable Energy

BioGenCool Biodigester

SBN Special Award for Business Sustainability

YHA Christchurch

Te Mata o te Tuatara Te Rünanga o Ngäi Tahu Special Heritage Award

Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, a collaboration between Kaikoura District Council, the Department of Conservation and Te Runanga O Kaikoura.

NIWA Special Award for Innovative Approaches to the Sustainability of Canterbury's Water Resources

Bellfarm Electronics

Environment Canterbury Resource Management Award for Schools - Wrybil Trophy

Bronte Davenport, Craighead School, Timaru

Environment Canterbury Future Environmentalist Award

Holly Gardiner, Unlimited School, Christchurch

Environmental Awareness Award (a partnership between Environment Canterbury and Tai Poutini Polytechnic Digger School)

Tom Sherson

Environment Canterbury Award for Excellence in Environmental Journalism

Rebecca Macfie, The Listener

ENDS

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