The Christchurch–West Melton Water Management Zone Committee meeting schedule.
Read past committee agendas and minutes
By Arapata Reuben, Chair, Christchurch West Melton Zone Committee
This item first appeared in The Press newspaper on 17 October 2016
The Ōpāwaho/Heathcote River has again been in the news – identified as the most polluted river in Christchurch and probably Canterbury. This should come as no surprise.
The Ōpāwaho provided a wealth of resources for Tuahuriri whānau and others to thrive in an at times harsh landscape. Within two generations the Ōpāwaho was turned into a smelly, disease-carrying drain and its ability to sustain whānau was stymied. A visitor in March 1922 wrote of “the disgusting state of the lower Heathcote; owing to the discharges from tanneries and wool-scouring works”.
Fast forward to today and we are still concerned about the state of the river. But it is in a better condition than it has been. There are no longer direct discharges of industrial waste into the river. Read more...
An update by Aropata Reuben, Chair, Christchurch West Melton Zone Committee
The main pressures on the Ōpāwaho/Heathcote River are sediment from the Port Hills and contaminants washed off road surfaces, roofs, driveways and riverbanks. This can include faecal matter (from dogs, birds etc) and heavy metals such as copper and zinc from brake linings and roofs.
The Water Quality report (https://www.ccc.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Environment/Water/Monitoring-Reports/City-Wide-Surface-Water-Quality-2016-PDF-6.03-MB.PDF) is an annual report prepared by Christchurch City Council as part of its stormwater consent conditions and submitted to Environment Canterbury.
A summary of the 2015 report was recently presented to the Christchurch West Melton Zone Committee. Haytons Stream which flows into the Heathcote is a Zone Committee priority catchment because of its potential impact on the river. Haytons and Curtletts Road streams are important waterways fed by springs and stormwater. Their catchment is largely industrialised. They have high percentages of impervious surfaces in the form of roads, roofing and paving. Read more...
Chair’s Column: Caring for our Urban Waterways
On March 16, the Southern Environmental Trust Forum took place. The theme of the forum this year is Caring for our Urban Waterways. Christchurch-West Melton Zone Committee chair Arapata Reuben discussed the need for everyone to play a role in looking after Canterbury’s waterways.
Once again public attention is being directed at our polluted urban waterways, in particular the Ōtākaro/Avon and Ōpawaho/Heathcote Rivers.
Social media and news media working together are powerful tools for raising awareness and drawing attention to particular issues. I can see the on-line energy building and support growing from people wanting to address our local fresh water issues.
However there is a real risk that all the on-line activity fails to translate into action on the ground. And what I mean by ‘action’ is going that step beyond clicking ‘like’ or completing an on-line petition. Don’t get me wrong: these are all good things, but our rivers and streams need urgent attention now. We need real changes in behaviour that will contribute to a collective response to caring for our urban waterways. Read more...
View larger map (jpg 158 kB)
Water Quality Summary Infographic
Erosion Control Treatment Trials on Port Hills Loess. Presentation to the Zone Committee on 25 August 2016
Christchurch West Melton Zone Committee Annual Report for 2015
Drying Reaches of the Avon River: Implications for Management. Presentation to Zone Committee 26 May 2016
Stormwater presentation to Zone Committee April 2016
Christchurch West-Melton Stormwater position (329 KB)
Canterbury Water Management Strategy (pdf 3.28 MB)
(03) 353 9007
0800 324 636 (EC INFO)
More contact details »