Hurunui - Waiau Zone Committee appoints community members

Four new community members have been appointed to the Hurunui - Waiau Zone Committee, one of ten committees in Canterbury responsible for delivering the community’s goals for water.

Community memberships are refreshed annually to ensure a wide range of views are reflected.

Ben Ensor, Dan Shand, Lynda Murchison and Olmec Sinclair will join existing community representatives John Faulkner, Michelle Hawke, James McCone, Ken Hughey and James Costello on the zone committee.

Ben is a dryland farmer with irrigation in Cheviot. He has chaired the Hurunui - Waiau Jed Nutrient Working Group and is one of a small group of dryland farmers leading the formation of a large landcare group to create a unified voice and strategy for dryland farmers.

Dan farms the Island Hills High Country Station in the upper Hurunui catchment. Island Hills was the 2012 Supreme Winner in the Ballance Farm Environmental Awards. Dan was a 2014 Nuffield scholar and was heavily involved in the Hurunui Nutrient Working Group.

Lynda has worked in resource management in Canterbury for 20 years at a regional council level and with Ngai Tahu. Lynda farms sheep and beef in the Waipara catchment and runs her own environmental policy and planning consultancy.

Olmec is a web developer and permaculture practitioner from Leader River near Parnassus. He is using his property to research and implement more sustainable ways of inhabiting the land and extracting a yield.

Christina Robb, Programme Manager Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS), said the selection process focussed on finding people who can see others’ points of views and work collaboratively to find solutions for water issues.

“We were pleased with the quality of the applicants and we’re sure the committee has a good balance of community representatives who are passionate about making a positive difference to local water management.

“The selection panel appreciated the diverse range of perspectives and expertise that the four new members will bring and each of them have significant profiles and strong relationships within the community.

“Each zone committee is focused on local actions to deliver the goals of the CWMS by encouraging good management practices from all land users and improving natural values while allowing for a reliable and safe water supply,” she said.

Recently the Hurunui - Waiau Zone Committee has been focussed on providing input into improving nutrient management on-farm and in irrigation schemes. Next year the committee will continue its discussions on water storage and nutrient management and work with the community to improve natural values in the zone.

The Hurunui - Waiau Zone Committeeis a joint committee of Environment Canterbury and the Hurunui District Council. Each zone committees has four to nine community members, an Environment Canterbury Commissioner, councillors from the relevant District Council/s, and representatives from Ngāi Tahu Rūnanga.