News and Views

Canterbury water zone committees are looking for new members

Cantabrians who are passionate about water can still apply to become a member of their local water zone committee. Applications close on 8 October 2018.

Nine of Canterbury’s ten water zone committees (the Waimakariri committee will look for new members in 2019) are going through their annual refresh to find new members with fresh ideas on how to address local water challenges.

Selwyn Waihora water zone committee member Megan Hands, who joined the committee in 2017, says she has always had an interest in making a difference in her community.

“I guess that’s the way I was brought up, that the community is you and if you don’t get stuck in and do things, things don’t happen.

“We’ve got this big challenge in the water quality space and in order to solve the challenges that we have, we all need to get involved and actively participate in finding solutions together.

“Experience is important on the committee, but having fresh eyes is really important too, to contribute different ideas to the discussion and different ways of doing things,” Hands says.

Tony Blunt, a Kaikōura resident who has been a long-term committee member, says he saw some great opportunities when he started in 2011.

“Local people are often the best at identifying the issues and coming up with ways to solve them. The zone committee takes a cooperative, collaborative approach to water management, and it’s very enjoyable and exciting to be part of. I’d encourage local people to get involved and play their part.”

Issues committees focus on include improving water quality and flows, mahinga kai and cultural values of freshwater, protecting drinking water sources and improving recreational and amenity opportunities.

The 10 water zone committees in Canterbury are made up of community members with a wide range of interests in water. They recommend actions and strategies to councils and other organisations involved in water management to help deliver the Canterbury Water Management Strategy in their local area.

Candidates are required to attend the monthly meetings determine priorities, identify solutions and work on ways these can be delivered. Candidates need to either live in or have a significant relationship with the zone they are applying for.

Source: Environment Canterbury

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