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Waitaki Catchment Water Allocation Board appointed

Thursday Sept 30

Waitaki Catchment Water Allocation Board appointed

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs today announced the five members of the Waitaki Catchment Water Allocation Board responsible for developing the regional water allocation plan for the Waitaki Catchment.

Board Chairperson is Alternate Environment Court Judge, David Sheppard, former Principal Judge of the Environment Court. "Judge Sheppard has considerable professional standing in the resource management area and has played a key role in many significant resource management cases," Marian Hobbs said.

Deputy Chairperson is Sheila Watson, a professional environmental manager with 20 years experience in the field. She is also a commissioner with the Environment Court.

Other Board members are: Dr Nick Brown – an economist with expertise in agricultural economics related to irrigation schemes and similar developments. Claire Mulcock – a resource management consultant with knowledge of water resources and the agricultural sector. Edward Ellison – part-time iwi liaison advisor to Otago Regional Council and farmer.

"The Board reflects the right mix of specialist knowledge, qualifications and experience to get on with the important job of developing the regional plan for water allocation in the Waitaki Catchment. The plan is vital because no plan or policy basis currently exists to deal with the many competing applications to use water from the Waitaki River," Marian Hobbs said.

The Board is an independent, statutory body that has 12 months to develop and approve the water allocation plan. It has been established under the Resource Management (Waitaki Catchment) Amendment Act passed on September 9.

The Board is expected to meet shortly. Initially it will familiarise itself with its task and establish the procedures it will follow to produce the water allocation plan and review the information available.

"We expect the draft water allocation plan will be ready to be notified publicly early next year. There will be opportunities for interested parties and members of the public to get involved, make a submission and attend the hearing," Marian Hobbs said.

Once completed, the water allocation regional plan will be administered by Environment Canterbury (Canterbury Regional Council) under the Resource Management Act.

The Board will be serviced by staff in the Ministry for the Environment’s Christchurch Office.

*Biographies on the Board members are attached with this news release. Media contact: Trevor Henry, press secretary, tel 04 471 9131; 021 843 679 e-mail:

Ali Tocker, media advisor, Ministry for the Environment, tel 04 917 7569, 027 452 6242 email:

Waitaki Catchment Water Allocation Board members September 2004

Judge David Sheppard (Chairperson) From Auckland, Judge Sheppard has had 25 years' professional experience as a judge in planning and resource management cases. He was the Principal Judge of the Planning Tribunal and the Environment Court for 14 years. He had a key role in developing the application of the Resource Management Act, and has taken part in many decisions on significant environment and planning issues.

Sheila Watson (Deputy Chair) From Christchurch, Sheila Watson is a professional environmental manager with 20 years of experience in the field. She has a strong understanding of New Zealand resource management law, and of related science, engineering, local government, New Zealand society and business practices. She is currently an Environment Court Commissioner. Prior to the Environment Court position Ms Watson was Environmental Manager for Mighty River Power in Hamilton. Other positions have included Environmental Services Manager with the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand, Environmental Planner at NIWA, Planning Manager with Works Consultancy Services, and Department of Conservation Regional Mining Coordinator. Ms Watson holds a BA in Geography and Economics from the University of Guelph in Ontario Canada, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Regional and Resource Planning from the University of Otago.

Edward Ellison From Dunedin, Mr Ellison is currently a farmer and a Kaitakawaenga [iwi liaison] advisor to Otago Regional Council. Since 1998, Mr Ellison has had numerous short-term contracts and appointments to government advisory groups. He has extensive experience as a representative for Te Runanga o Otakou and Ngâi Tahu. Mr Ellison was a founding member of the Ngâi Tahu Maori Law Centre and its chairperson from 1992-99. He is the Otakou representative on Te Rûnanga o Ngâi Tahu and its former deputy chair. He is a member of the New Zealand Conservation Authority and past member of the Otago Conservation Board.

Dr Nick Brown From Wanaka, Dr Brown is an economist specialising in resource economics, national and regional impact analyses, regional economics, cost-benefit analysis and development economics. His work has included a focus on agricultural economics, particularly relating to irrigation schemes and similar developments. Since 1982, Dr Brown has been a partner in a firm of consulting economists, undertaking work for private and public sector entities, and multi-lateral lending agencies, in New Zealand and overseas. He has governance experience on an number of boards and committees. Dr Brown has direct experience in water resource development through research on irrigation at Lincoln University, irrigation development projects overseas, flood protection appraisal, as adviser to a number of South Island water management schemes, and as an adviser to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. He has a Masters in Agricultural Science from Lincoln University, including a thesis on the economics of the Levels Plains Irrigation Scheme, and a PhD from Manitoba University.

Claire Mulcock From Christchurch, Ms Mulcock is a resource management consultant with knowledge of water resources and experience in the agricultural sector. She has operated as a consultant since 2001 and acted as a member of a special tribunal appointed by the Environment Minister to hear the Rangitata River Water Conservation Order. Ms Mulcock was Manager of Rural Futures Group Ltd from 1999-2001, which was an independent company promoting sustainable management of rural land. She has carried out consulting work for many organisations including: the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, NIWA, High Country Federated Farmers, Merino NZ Inc., and Agriculture New Zealand. Ms Mulcock has governance experience as a Director of Landcare Research Ltd (1999-2003) and holds a Masters in Science (Resource Management) from Lincoln University.


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