Community invited to play its part in local water management

People throughout Canterbury are being invited to express their interest in joining one of the water management committees set up as part of the collaborative Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

Seven of Canterbury’s ten zone committees are now calling for applications from interested community members. The committees are: Kaikoura; Hurunui-Waiau; Selwyn-Waihora; Christchurch-West Melton; Ashburton; Orari-Opihi-Pareora; and Banks Peninsula.

The remaining three zone committees (Upper Waitaki, Lower Waitaki – South Coastal Canterbury and Waimakariri) have all had recent membership changes.

Christina Robb, Programme Manager Canterbury Water Management Strategy, said the committees are looking for new people who can see others’ points of view and who can work collaboratively to find solutions for water issues.

“The zone committees are now focused on local actions to deliver the gains envisaged when the Canterbury Water Management Strategy was launched in 2009. Since 2009 or 2010 the committees have been working with their communities to find innovative ways to improve local freshwater management.

“This includes encouraging good management practices from all land users, work to improve biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as improving urban stormwater quality. Zone committees are also working with councils on environmental limits - how much water can be taken and how much nutrient can be discharged - and improved rules.

“The work going on as part of the Strategy 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 sure there are many people in Canterbury who are passionate about making a positive difference in water management and we encourage them to put their names forward to ensure new perspectives are reflected,” she said.

The refresh process enables two community members each year to be replaced or reappointed. Candidates must be able to attend the committee meetings, and live in or have a significant relationship with the zone or region they are applying for.

If you would like more information or want to fill out an expression of interest form please click here, or phone Environment Canterbury Customer Services on 0800 324 636.

Expressions of interest are due by 15 October and candidates will be notified in mid-late October if they have been shortlisted.