Hurunui - Waiau Zone Committee appoints two community members

James Costello has been appointed to the Hurunui - Waiau Zone Committee as part of a process to ensure a wide range of views are reflected.

James is a sheep farmer from Hawarden and a foundation member of the Hawarden-Waikari Catchment Group (more information is below). Existing member Ken Hughey has been reappointed to the committee. Ken is Professor of Environmental Management at Lincoln University and has a PhD in resource management.

Hurunui - Waiau is one of 10 water management committees set up in 2010 and 2011 as part of the collaborative Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) to develop community-led recommendations to provide sustainable benefits from our water resource.

The Hurunui - Waiau Zone Committee is a joint committee of Environment Canterbury and the Hurunui District Council. Each of Canterbury’s ten zone committees has four to seven community members, an Environment Canterbury Commissioner, Councillors from the relevant district Council, and representatives from Ngāi Tahu Rūnanga.

The other community members on the Hurunui – Waiau Zone Committee are David Eder, Mike Hodgson, John Faulkner, and Michelle Hawke. The committee also includes representatives from council and local Rūnanga. Biographies for zone committee members can be found on the Waimakariri page at www.ecan.govt.nz/canterburywater .

Christina Robb, Programme Manager 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.

“The CWMS is an innovative approach to managing fresh water. It’s about finding the best ways to restore our environment and provide for viable farming and communities throughout the region.

“We are 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.

“Each of Canterbury’s ten zone committees is focused on local actions to deliver the gains envisaged by the CWMS. This includes encouraging good management practices from all land users, working to improve biodiversity and ecosystems, improving urban stormwater quality and the reliability of water for irrigation, and making sure there is a safe supply of water for local communities,” she said.

The Hurunui – Waiau Zone Committee’s recent focus has been on how it can work with its partners and the community to reduce Nitrogen and Phosphorus levels in the zone’s waterways to allow for more development within existing rules. This includes measuring losses, monitoring water use, managing stock access, and working with councils and industry groups. Significant on-the-ground biodiversity work to improve water quality is also being actioned through Immediate Steps funding.

More recently, the committee has been working closely with farmers to develop recommendations on improvements to the nutrient management policies that are more equitable to dryland farmers, while still delivering environmental and cultural targets.

James Costello
James is a sheep farmer from Hawarden and a foundation member of the Hawarden-Waikari Catchment Group.

James has attended many zone committee meetings and has is particularly interested in the challenges dryland farmers face with the Hurunui Waiau Rivers Regional Plan.