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Environment Canterbury annual report out now

November 3, 2009
Media Statement

Environment Canterbury annual report outlines the year’s highlights

Environment Canterbury’s Annual Report for 2008/09 is now available and provides a comprehensive picture of the organisation’s responsibilities – including its main activities and major initiatives. It also details the organisation’s financial performance this year, which has been closely audited and approved.

The Annual Report Summary showcases the main achievements and highlights for the year to June 30 2009, including:

• We enabled a record 17.49 million public passenger transport trips to be made in greater Christchurch and Timaru on Metro bus services, up by over 660,000 trips on the previous year. This represents a 13% increase in Timaru passenger numbers and a 4% increase in Christchurch.
• We took a leading role in development of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, a groundbreaking strategy informed by extensive stakeholder and public discussion about the future of water management in Canterbury.
• We got the green light for the $34 million, 10-year Waimakariri Flood Protection Project, to improve flood protection for the communities living along the Waimakariri River.
• Under the Clean Heat Project we assisted 1,969 Christchurch homeowners, 94 Waimakariri homeowners, 34 Ashburton homeowners and 226 Timaru homeowners to convert to cleaner forms of home heating, contributing to cleaner air by reducing PM10 emissions in our urban areas.
• We made good progress in eradicating animal or plant pests in our region, from rooks to rabbits and from boneseed to nassella tussock grass.
• We undertook a best-practice environmental audit of all the metal foundry businesses in Canterbury, following a significant enforcement action over illegally buried foundry waste.
• We planted 2,500 new trees in the Waimakariri Regional Park, built a 5 km extension to the very popular McLeans Island bike track and put in new picnic settings. We also took the first steps in management of the new Lake Tekapo Regional Park, putting in information signs to help “establish” the park.
• We launched the Urban Waterways programme aimed at improving water quality of Christchurch’s urban streams and rivers. This included water quality research, working with industries located near waterways, and public education to improve people’s understanding of the links between stormwater systems and urban rivers.

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Environment Canterbury’s Chairman, Alec Neill, says “This year’s Annual Report shows just how wide-ranging our work is at Environment Canterbury. At times it has been a challenging year for our staff, but Canterbury’s ratepayers can be assured that they have stepped up and shown professionalism and leadership in the management of our region’s resources.”

Copies of the Annual Report 2009 and the summary are available online at http://ecan.govt.nz/publications/Pages/AnnualReport2008-09.aspx

ENDS

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