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Ashburton Zone Committee appoints new community members

Media Release

19 December 2013

Ashburton Zone Committee appoints new community members

Two new community members have been appointed to the Ashburton Zone Committee as part of a process to refresh its community membership.

Jackie Wright (a medical laboratory scientist) and Chris Allen (Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury Provincial president) will join the committee in 2014, and Ben Curry has been reappointed to the committee, having put his name 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 Rūnanga representatives. There are seven community members on the Ashburton Zone Committee.

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 Canterbury Water Zone Committee refreshment process requires community members from six of the ten zone committees to put their names forward to be refreshed each year. The remaining four zone committees have already had recent community membership changes so are not part of the process this year.

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

Over the past year the Ashburton Zone Committee has been particularly focussed on working with the community to develop catchment specific rules to feed in to Environment Canterbury’s proposed Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP).

The committee has specifically been working on developing recommendations on nutrient limits, minimum flows, good management practice, biodiversity, and cultural values for the Hinds Plains catchment.

The committee’s recommendations will align with the targets set in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy to meet environmental, economic, cultural and recreational goals. The recommendations for the Hinds catchment – which are expected to be ready by March next year – will guide the drafting of specific rules for the Hinds Plains catchment.

The other community members on the Ashburton Zone Committee are Greg Roadley, Gordon Guthrie, Sheryl Stivens, and Donna Field. Matthew Hall did not put his name forward for re-selection.

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

ENDS

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