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 in 2010 and 2011 as part of the collaborative Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

Christina Robb, Programme Manager Canterbury Water Management Strategy, said the committees are looking for new people who can see others’ points of views 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 by filling out an expression of interest form,” she said.

Eight of the ten zone committees in Canterbury are looking for new members as part of the refresh process which enables two community members each year to be replaced or reappointed, ensuring new perspectives will be represented on the committees.

The committees are: Kaikoura, Hurunui-Waiau; Selwyn-Waihora, Waimakariri, Christchurch-West Melton, Ashburton; Orari-Opihi-Pareora; and Lower Waitaki – South Coastal Canterbury. The remaining two zone committees (Banks Peninsula, and Upper Waitaki) will wait until 2015 to refresh their community membership due to recent changes.

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. Candidates will be notified in early November 2014 if they have been shortlisted.

Shortlisted candidates will be required to participate in a selection workshop at which they will be asked to make a presentation and participate in an assessment workshop.

If you would like more information or to fill out an expression of interest form please visit www.ecan.govt.nz/canterburywater or phone Environment Canterbury Customer Services on 0800 324 636.

Expressions of interest are due by 20 October.