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New committee will work with communitieson waterways

Media release
02 December 2018

New committee will work with communities towards improving the health of waterways and harbour

A new whaitua committee - Whaitua te Whanganui-a-Tara - has been established by Greater Wellington Regional Council to work with communities in the Hutt Valley and Wellington to develop proposals to improve fresh and marine water quality throughout its valley and harbour catchments.

The Committee combines the expertise of local and regional councillors, iwi and community members drawn from throughout the Hutt and Wainuiomata valleys, the suburbs of Wellington Harbour and the south coast and the Makara and Ohariu stream catchments.

It will spend the next two years analysing environmental, mana whenua, economic, and technical information alongside community knowledge to develop a Whaitua Implementation Programme, or WIP.

The WIP will contain a series of recommendations on how to implement the Government’s National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, which sets out bottom lines on maintaining and improving the quality of our fresh water bodies. Both regulatory changes for inclusion in the Regional Council’s Natural Resources Plan and non-regulatory activities such as land use policies, education programmes and priorities for investment will be included.

Whaitua te Whanganui-a-Tara will work extensively with people, community groups and iwi from throughout its catchments to identify their understanding, beliefs and values in relation to freshwater and want they want from it.

“The task of Committee members is to understand the issues that face the sustainability and quality of freshwater and marine environments in our region. I believe, after a thorough appointment process, we’ve found the right mix of people to drive the Committee forward,” says Greater Wellington Chair Chris Laidlaw.

“This is a committee brimming with talent, expertise and experience. I know they can’t wait to get on with the job, and I congratulate them for taking on what is a vitally important public task – quality freshwater is the wellspring of everything and ensuring it can be sustainably delivered to the community is a vital task.”

The first meeting of the committee will take place on 8 February 2018.


Whaitua te Whanganui-a-Tara committee membership - details

Jonny Osborne has a diverse background of working in legal and media industries, in academia and is now an analyst in the Water Directorate of the Ministry for the Environment, where he is a member of the Freshwater Policy Team, , primarily focused on the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

Quentin Duthie has a Master of New Zealand Studies from Victoria University of Wellington and has worked in environmental policy since 2005, as an assistant, researcher and adviser to Green Party Members of Parliament, a conservation advocate for Forest and Bird, and a director of Policy and Research with the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

Zoe Ogilvie is a committed communications and engagement professional who, since 2014, has been delivering various work programmes in the field of biosecurity, flood protection, environment and strategy for Greater Wellington Regional Council and DOC.

Louise Askin, a resident of Makara Beach, works with the primary sector to support their sustainable use of natural resources, co-managing a $34 million funding scheme at the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Anya Pollock is an experienced policy advisor who has enjoyed a varied career in the public sector, with over twelve years spent at the Ministry for the Environment. For much of this time she worked in freshwater policy, including leading advice on the national framework for freshwater objective setting developed with a collaborative group of iwi, councils, scientists, economists and stakeholders.

Pete Matcham is passionate about ecology and the analysis of complex ‘messy’ problems. He provides pro bono services to various NGOs, including policy analysis, advocacy at all levels, and project evaluation using qualitative as well as quantitative evaluation criteria. He has a wide community involvement, locally and at national level. A Board member of the Grey Power Federation for six years, he was elected National Vice-President in 2016.

Gabriel Tupou, an active community member serving both as a volunteer and at a governance level, is an outstanding representative of our Māori and Pasifika communities, where he leads through inclusion and respect for others.

Pat van Berkel focusses his energies on the environment and conservation in New Zealand, following a career with land administration systems in New Zealand and overseas. He is active in the committee of Forest & Bird Upper Hutt where he advocates for the green belt, the Hutt River, and local wetlands.

Paul Swain Councillor Swain represents the Upper Hutt constituency on Greater Wellingtons Regional Council. Is chair of the Finance, Risk and Assurance Committee and sits on the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committees, the Hutt Valley Flood Management subcommittee as well as Te Upoko Taiao.

Morris Te Whiti Love is a trustee of Wellington Tenths Trust, a hearings commissioner under the RMA and a self-employed resource management and fisheries consultant, Raukura Consultants. He was also formerly chairman of I of the Te Wai Maori Trust and has extensive experience as an advisor on infrastructure and primary industry projects.

Ta Matiu Rei (an interim appointment) has served the Māori community in health, education, economic development, culture and Treaty of Waitangi Resolution. Since 1989 Ta Matiu has been pivotal in the growth of Te Rūnanga O Toa Rangatira, the development organisation for the Ngāti Toa Rangatira people, of which he is Executive Director. He is Rei is the Chair of Te Wananga o Raukawa Foundation, a Director and member of Te Purutanga Mauri and the Māori University, Te Wānanga O Raukawa.

DR. Peter Gilberd is a Wellington City Councillor, who holds the Natural Environment and City Science portfolios. He trained as a scientist, has a research and teaching background in physics, and has worked in research funding with the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Tui Lewis Councillor Lewis is a long-time resident of Petone who has always been active in the community. This is her second term as a councillor, she sits on several Council committees the Eastbourne and Petone Community Boards, she is Deputy Chair Arts and Culture subcommittee is Chair of the Spatial Plan committee for Petone 2040 and also sits on the Waste Forum Group.

Kara Puketapu-Dentice has a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Resource Management from the University of Otago and is employed by Wellington Water Ltd as Senior Advisor Whaitua Relationships. He formerly worked at Horizons Regional Council as a Policy Analyst, supporting iwi in their freshwater projects and Treaty Settlement processes, including the Whanganui River Settlement. Kara also participated in the Asia Pacific Leadership Programme, at the East West Centre in Hawaii.

Hikitia Ropata has ties to Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngati Raukawa ki e Tonga, Te Ati Awa ki Whakarongotai. She represents Greater Wellington’s Te Upoko Taiao (Natural Resources Management Committee) on the Whaitua Committee and has also done so for Te Awarua o Porirua Whaitua. Hikitia has a background in public policy across a range of social, economic and sustainable development areas, including a role for Auckland Council managing the Parks and Open Space Policy team.

Roger Blakeley is a councillor for Greater Wellington Regional Council and a member of Capital and Coast District Health Board. He was Chief Planning Officer, Auckland Council, Chief Executive, Porirua City Council, Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, and Chief Executive, Ministry for the Environment from 1986 to 1995. He is a past chair of the Paris-based OECD Environment Committee. He has served on numerous boards in the government, local government and not-for-profit sectors.

Wayne Guppy has been Mayor of Upper Hutt since 2001. A Doctor of Pharmacy he was a lecturer in clinical pharmacy at Hutt Hospital and group chairman of the pharmacy practice department at Upper Hutt's Central Institute of Technology. His is also a Justice of the Peace.

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