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Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee appoints new community member

Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee appoints new community member

James McCone has been appointed to the Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee as part of a process to refresh its community membership.

James is a dairy farmer from the north bank of Waiau River. He initiated and chairs the Upper Waiau Independent Irrigators Group, and has formal governance training.

He is one of seven community members on the committee, which requires its membership to refresh each year to ensure new perspectives are reflected. John Faulkner and Michelle Hawke were reappointed as community representatives, having put themselves forward for re-selection.

Each of Canterbury’s ten zone committees have four to seven community members, an Environment Canterbury Commissioner, Councillors from the relevant district Council, and representatives from Ngāi Tahu.

Christina Robb, Programme Manager Canterbury Water Management Strategy, said the selection process focussed on finding people who can see others’ points of views and who can work collaboratively to find solutions for water issues.

“The Canterbury Water Management Strategy is an innovative approach to managing fresh water. It’s about finding the best ways to restore our environment and provide for viable farming and communities throughout the region.

“It will help to ensure safe drinking water supplies, sustainable farming practices and clean rivers and streams, as well as enhancing recreational opportunities and protecting environment and cultural values.

“We are pleased with the quality of the applicants and we’re sure we have found good balance of community representatives who are passionate about making a positive difference in local water management,” she said.

The zone committee refreshment process requires two community members from six of the ten zone committees to put their names forward to be refreshed each year.

This means community membership terms are staggered to ensure there is an opportunity for new perspectives to be reflected on the water management committees. Existing members were able to put their names forward for re-selection.

Over the past year the Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee has been particularly focussed on implementing land-use and water quality (LUWQ) initiatives in the zone. Land use intensification is having a significant impact on water quality in Canterbury.

The LUWQ project is a collaborative project which involves extensive work with the community to develop processes and tools which can be used to reduce nutrient run-off and leaching into waterways.

In the coming years, the committee will be focussed on working with the community, council and stakeholders to implement the proposed Hurunui and Waiau River Regional Plan (HWRRP), which becomes operative in late December.

The Plan is significant as it is the first to be made operative involving a collaborative process to align with the vision and principles of the CWMS. For farmers in the catchment the Plan is initially about ensuring they are operating at good management practice or better so that water quality in the catchment can be maintained and improved.

There are six water management committees refreshing their membership this year. The remaining four zone committees were exempt from the process as they have had recent community membership changes.

The other community members on the Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee are David Eder, Professor Ken Hughey, Andrew Harris, and Mike Hodgen. The committee also includes representatives from council and local Rūnanga.

Biographies for zone committee members can be found on the Hurunui-Waiau page at www.ecan.govt.nz/canterburywater .


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