Kaumātua honoured – Peter Ramsden MNZM

Environment Canterbury today acknowledged the award of a Queen’s Birthday Honour to one of its own among many other notable Cantabrians.

Peter Ramsden becomes a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to conservation.

He is kaumātua and Deputy Chair of Te Runanga o Koukourarata and has led development of several conservation projects in Canterbury.

Chair Jenny Hughey said she was delighted to learn of the award

“Peter worked with us for nearly a decade. We were very fortunate to have his services because he is widely recognised as a highly respected Rangatira of Ngāi Tahu whānau whānui”, she said.

“His work in conservation and the natural environment is especially noteworthy. He is a keeper of the flame in terms of mātauranga Māori and customary practices associated with mahinga kai.”

Advisor, supporter, educator and broker

Jenny Hughey said Peter has a “unique ability” to live and work in two worlds, and “with the utmost integrity, he navigates the natural tensions between the two, with skill, humour and humility”.

As an advisor, supporter, educator and broker, Peter sees where those two worlds can intersect for mutual benefit.

“Under Peter's guidance, Environment Canterbury has grown and developed significantly in terms of capacity, capability and ability to engage meaningfully with manawhenua, the community and stakeholder groups,” she said.

“The Canterbury Water Management Strategy collaborative process would have been the poorer without Peter's significant ongoing contribution.

“His advice and support of effective engagement between various Crown agencies, central and local government, the wider community, industry stakeholders, manawhenua and Ngāi Tahu for our organisation, together with his strong grasp of reality and pragmatism, have helped us greatly to achieve what few others have managed to date.

“As a result,” Jenny Hughey concluded, “our Tuia relationship with Ngāi Tahu is highly valued, and an integral part of the way Environment Canterbury undertakes its responsibilities for the environment and our community.”