Community conversation’s provide forum for discussion

The recent Community Conversation meeting series held in Kaikōura, Waiau and Waimakariri has provided a platform for residents and industry to share their thoughts on all things Environment Canterbury.

Northern zone manager Andrew Arps said it was great to meet with a range of residents, business owners, Councillors, and community members from across North Canterbury.

“We shared updates on key work programmes that were relevant for each zone – focusing on local river works and catchment approaches for each zone,” he said.

“The catchment approach is a much more connected way of looking at the work being undertaken in each zone, so it was great to be able to discuss some of the current catchment projects with the community.

“We’ve got a way to go, but there’s opportunity all around for taking an integrated catchment approach to regeneration work,” he said.

Waiau communtiy conversations

The Waiau event saw lots of discussion with the community around willow removal work, and how this fits in with the regional river works programme.

Waimakariri community conversations

At the Waimakariri event, attendees found out about the decisions on Plan Change 7 and what this meant for Waimakariri residents.

Kaikōura focuses on Clarence

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Waiau Toa Clearance catchment map

A key discussion point at the Kaikōura event was the Waiau Toa Clarence catchment.

“There’s work being undertaken by us, Land Information New Zealand, a local trapping project supported by Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura and by local landowners,” Kaikōura zone delivery lead Kevin Heays said.

“Different projects focusing on different things in different areas of the catchment, all combining to achieve the catchment approach. The Waia Toa / Clarence project is a catchment of land, water, and people. This project clearly illustrates what can be done – when we work together.

“Middle Creek, another catchment project, has some great research behind it, so we’re looking at how we can support that community in that space over the next six months or so, ultimately, to create a catchment approach across the Kaikōura Flats” he said.

Willows in Waiau

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Waiau Uwha Clearance catchment map

The Waiau event saw lots of discussion with the community around willow removal work, and how this fits in with the regional river works programme.

Arps said that it was great to be able to show the attendees how work across the Waiau Uwha catchment was connected and acknowledged that there’s still a significant way to go in terms of weed management in the area.

“Being able to put a map up with dots all over it showing the wide range of projects happening in the catchment was really helpful in illustrating how a catchment approach works,” he said.

“The willows remain one of the biggest concerns for the community, and it was great to hear their thoughts about some alternative methods for control.

"As plans develop for the removal of willow, we’ll be sharing these with the community.”

Waimakariri sees Plan Change 7 adopted

The Waimakariri event happened the same day that Council adopted the recommendations of the independent hearing commissioners on Plan Change 7 to the Land & Water Regional Plan and Plan Change 2 to the Waimakariri River Regional Plan.

Waimakariri and Hurunui Waiau zone delivery lead Marco Cataloni said it was great to have Councillors McKay and Edge at the meeting, so they could update attendees directly, on what the decision meant for Waimakariri residents.

“These changes further contribute to having catchment-based approaches for water management in Canterbury,” Cataloni said.

Find out more

Northern zone manager Andrew Arps, Operations manager Nick Daniels, Kaikōura zone delivery lead Kevin Heays, and Hurunui Waiau and Waimakariri zone delivery lead Marco Cataloni all spoke at the North Canterbury Community Conversation events. See meeting notes and slide decks below:

Next events March/April 2022

The next round of North Canterbury Community Conversation events are planned for March/April 2022. Those interested in attending are welcome to send topics for discussion to