New faces join local Southern water committees

Six new members to the Orari Temuka Opihi Pareora (OTOP) Water Zone Committee and the Lower Waitaki South Coastal Canterbury Water Zone Committee are helping to protect and improve the area’s freshwater.

Learning about the water resources in and around South Canterbury was ‘homework’ for the new community water zone committee members over summer 2018/19.

Daniel Isbister and Barney Hoskins were appointed as community members to the Lower Waitaki South Coastal Canterbury Water Zone Committee. Existing members Kate White (Chair) and Brent Packman were also re-appointed and Councillor Jakki Guildford will become the Waimate District Council representative.

The new members for the neighbouring OTOP Water Zone Committee are Glen Smith, Phil Driver and Herstall Ulrich.  Community member Mark Webb was also at the end of his term but has been reappointed to the committee.

Over summer, the new members have been learning more about the key environmental and cultural features and issues in the local zone - including a two-day orientation field trip – ahead of their first public committee meeting.

The new members – along with local rūnanga representatives – visited key locations in South Canterbury and Lower Waitaki.  These included Wainono Lagoon, which is undergoing a water quality restoration project, the Waihao Box, as well as locations further north such as the Opihi River Mouth, the historical pā site (Te Waiateruatī) and Opuha Dam.

Daniel Isbister is a dairy farmer who lives on the banks of the Waitaki River, where for most of his life he has used the river for fishing, shooting, boating and swimming, as well as for irrigation.  Daniel is a keen fly-fisherman and has been a councillor of Central South Island Fish and Game for three terms.

Following some extensive travel abroad, Barney Hoskins has returned to the region to take advantage of the outdoor lifestyle whilst working in leadership roles at the local Polytechnic and more recently South Canterbury District Health Board.

Barney has a background in construction and teaching and is actively involved in a range of recreational activities including hiking, fishing, kayaking and swimming in and around local waterways.

Glen Smith is a dairy farmer and irrigator in the Peel Forest/Rangitata/Orari area. He has previously been involved as a community member (farmer) in the Hinds zone and the Hakataramea Catchment, and more recently chairing the Orari-Rangitata Catchment Group as part of the Healthy Catchment Group.

As business manager for a large dairy farming operation, he routinely deals with farm developments, consenting requirements, acquisitions and operations.

Dr Phil Driver is an Engineer with extensive experience in water management, whose roles have included facilitating the Pareora Catchment Group’s working party; Chemical Cleaning (now IXOM) which provided water treatment chemicals through work at Lincoln Ventures, supervising research on water quality such as nitrates in groundwater, a thermophilic enzyme-based sensor of water quality and Aquaflex water tapes; and co-facilitation of the stakeholder engagement for the CWMS and drafting of core principles for the strategy.

He also has qualifications and experience in stakeholder engagement, collaboration, strategies and performance management, on which he lectures at postgraduate level.

Herstall Ulrich is a sheep, beef and dairy farmer, both on a dry land and a small irrigated property along the Te Ana Wai River, where he has lived all his life.  He is interested in contributing towards sustainability of the environmental and economic outcomes for the zone.

His experience in farming and in collaborative processes includes representing the agricultural sector on the Aoraki Polytech Council; judging the Ballance Farm Environment awards; and chairing the NZ Grasslands Local Organising Committee, which was tasked with running the Timaru conference in 2016.

About the zone committee refresh

The zone committee refresh process replaces or renews community members whose three-year term is completed.  

Canterbury has ten water zone committees and one Regional Committee which were established in 2010 and 2011.  The committees are joint committees of local councils and Environment Canterbury. All committees include community members and rūnanga representation.