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Orari-Opihi-Pareora Zone Committee elects Chair


17 August 2011

Orari-Opihi-Pareora Zone Committee elects Chair

The Orari-Opihi-Pareora Zone Committee elected Dermott O'Sullivan as its Chair at its meeting in Timaru on 12 August.

John O'Neill was elected as Deputy Chair as well as the Zone Committee's representative on the Regional Committee.

Dermott O'Sullivan says he is looking forward to taking a leadership role to help guide decision making about issues relating to the region's water.

"Since forming in April we have been working hard to come up to speed with water issues in the region and we have been on a number of field trips to engage with our community.

"As a Committee we are charged with developing a water management programme that provides present and future generations the greatest social and economic benefits possible.

"As a group we are confident we have a pool of capable people with wide-ranging interests to give effect to the Canterbury Water Management Strategy with skill and urgency. We are all excited about the work that lies ahead and I am personally honoured to be elected as Chair," he said.

At its August meeting the Orari-Opihi-Pareora Zone Committee was briefed on urban waterways (parks and gardens and drainage and water management) and reviewed its priorities for biodiversity protection and restoration in the zone.

Following this the Zone Committee discussed the values that will shape its Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP). The Zone Committee hopes to have its draft ZIP completed by the end of 2011. The ZIP will recommends actions, responsibilities and time-frames to help achieve the principles, targets and goals set out in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

The community and stakeholders will have their chance to give feedback on the Zone Committee's priority outcomes in the coming months via a series of public meetings (these will be well advertised). They will also be invited to review and provide feedback on the draft ZIP before it is finalised, and then submitted to council for approval. The final ZIP is expected to be completed in early 2012.

The Orari-Opihi-Pareora Zone Committee operates as a joint committee of Environment Canterbury and the Timaru and Mackenzie District Councils. The Zone extends from the Rangitata River (shared boundary with Ashburton Zone), the Orari, Opihi and Pareora catchments, and includes all of the Timaru district and parts of the Mackenzie and Waimate districts.

The Orari-Opihi-Pareora Zone Committee's next meeting is on 8 September. Meetings are open to the public and agendas are available from www.ecan.govt.nz/canterburywater www.ecan.govt.nz/canterburywater.

Orari-Opihi-Pareora Zone Committee Chair and Deputy Chair Profiles

Dermott O'Sullivan (Chair)

Dermott has been involved with the promotion and development of large scale water enhancement projects for close to 20 years. Dermott has a 500ha family dairy farm at Cricklewood milking 1200 cows on 350 hectares of irrigated land. Previously he has worked as a registered rural valuer.

Dermott is a director of Opuha Water Limited and a Trustee of Aoraki Water Trust and South Canterbury Irrigation Trust.

John O'Neill (Deputy Chair and Zone Committee representative on the Regional Committee)

As former mayor and councillor of Mackenzie District, John O'Neill has been an active member of the South Canterbury community for a number of decades.

During his time as mayor and chairman of operations and planning John was involved with many council projects including the establishment of the Twizel Events Centre and the establishment of two new water schemes.

John was also a member of the South Canterbury Water Enhancement Group and an instigator of the South Canterbury Irrigation Trust - formed to address water issues in the area.


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