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Time running out to have say on local water management

30 January 2013

Time running out to have say on local water management

Locals are running out of time to have their say on the draft Christchurch – West Melton Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP) for water management.

Last week the zone committee held its second community engagement meeting to get feedback on its recommendations. These include enhancing local waterways for recreation, improving water quality and flow in waterways, enhancing ecosystems, safeguarding groundwater, and efficient water use.

Christchurch - West Melton Zone Committee Chair Ian Fox said the committee was pleased with the level of engagement from those at the meeting.

“We were very happy with how engaged participants were at the community meeting and the discussions we had with key stakeholder groups were also invaluable.

“The role of the zone committee is to work with the local community to develop water management solutions that will benefit our region for generations to come.

“We are keen to receive a diverse range of feedback to ensure our recommendations reflect the community’s aspirations before the feedback period closes on 3 February,” he said.

The draft ZIP provides water management recommendations to councils and stakeholders to achieve the targets and goals set out in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS).

Residents can view the draft ZIP and submit feedback online, or in writing, at www.ecan.govt.nz/canterburywater prior to the February deadline.

Christchurch - West Melton Zone Committee Chair Ian Fox said managing our fresh water is something that affects every person in Christchurch.

“Judging by the letters and articles published in recent months, Christchurch people have a high level of interest in rural water issues, especially around land use and water quality.

“The committee is keen for people to give our urban freshwater resources the same level of attention. Some of the biggest water quality issues are in urban areas and this is our chance to focus on our own backyard to improve the waterways where we live.

“The Christchurch - West Melton draft ZIP has been developed following numerous committee meetings, workshops, fieldtrips, and engagement with community groups and stakeholder organisations to gather information about the zone’s water resource.

“How we manage water has an influence on our quality of life and prosperity both now and for future generations. This is your chance to have your say,” said Ian Fox.

Ian Fox said earthquake recovery work also presents additional water related challenges and opportunities in the context of implementing the CWMS.

“The physical characteristics and chemistry of some of our waterways altered significantly following February’s earthquake.

“We believe it is important that earthquake recovery programmes help to implement the CWMS where possible, and these are the kind of important issues we want community input on,” he said.

Once community feedback has been considered the draft ZIP will be updated and presented to councils as the basis for work programmes and for drafting regional plans.

The Christchurch - West Melton Zone committee was set up under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy and had its launch in October 2011. The committee consists of six community members, three Rūnanga representatives, and appointees from Environment Canterbury, Christchurch City Council, and Selwyn District Council.

Copies of the draft ZIP and feedback are available at: www.ecan.govt.nz/canterburywater .

The feedback period is open from 10 December until 3 February 2013.

ENDS

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