View past committee agendas and minutes
View the latest media releases for the Orari–Opihi–Pareora Committee:
1 August 2014: OOP Zone Committee focuses on community engagement and water modelling
6 June 2014: Orari-Opihi-Pareora Committee meeting
4 April 2014: Orari–Opihi–Pareora Zone Committee meeting
by Dermott O’Sullivan - July 2014
The Orari-Opihi-Pareora water management zone is recognised as one of the most water short of the 10 zones across Canterbury.
The Canterbury Water Management Strategy is designed to ensure a sustainable water resource for the future, but a strategy on its own will not be enough. Community conversations about what rivers should look like for the next generations are also needed.
Water quality, water quantity and biodiversity are the main motivators behind the work of the Orari-Opihi-Pareora Zone Committee.
Many of the recommendations in our Zone Implementation Programme focus on the establishment of vibrant Catchment Groups, where local communities take ownership of their local streams and rivers and deliver local solutions.
While landowners are very important to effect change, the wider community needs to feel comfortable and have its input as well. We are in the process of establishing up to 12 catchment groups, which will allow local communities to take ownership of their streams and rivers and work together to develop local solutions.
Some catchment groups are already up and running, and we are encouraged by the enthusiasm people are bringing to them.
We have appreciated receiving funding recently from the Sustainable Farming Fund to allow the Landcare Trust to help facilitate some of this catchment group work. The Opihi Catchment will be the main focus of this three year project.
In parallel, we are beginning to think about the sub-regional planning process for the Orari-Opihi-Pareora zone, which will take place in 2017/18.
We are fortunate that time is on our side, but it is never too soon to begin considering what the best decisions for the future of our zone might be.
In my next column, I will tell you about some of the modeling that is being done by the infrastructure team, and some of the opportunities there might be for bringing more water into our zone to benefit the environment and support further development.
Since forming in April 2011, the focus of the committee has been to work with the community to develop water management recommendations to deliver the goals of the CWMS.
The committee finalised its draft Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP) for water management in early 2012 following a series of community feedback meetings.
The ZIP was then endorsed by councils as the basis for the design and realignment of council work programmes for freshwater.
More recently, the zone committee has been focusing on its work programme to implement the ZIP. A key part of this has been looking at ways to bring more water in to the zone.
Another key focus for the committee has been on forming catchment groups in the zone. Following a public meeting in the Orari catchment in late 2012, it was decided the Orari will be divided in to upper, mid, and lower catchment groups, as well as an overall group to ensure cohesion.
The committee has also received a number of briefings on local and regional water management issues including; the Pareora River Flow Plan, Orari flood plain strategy, Waitaki River Plan, and the progress of the draft Land and Water Regional Plan by Environment Canterbury.
Canterbury Water Management Strategy (pdf 3.28 MB)
Orari–Opihi–Pareora ZIP (pdf 4.67 MB)
Orari–Opihi–Pareora Water Management Zone - Update of regulation requirements for water takes of 20 l/s or more (May 2013) (pdf 451 kB)
(03) 353 9007
0800 324 636 (EC INFO)
More contact details »