New and familiar faces round the table for Northern water zone committees

Canterbury's nine water zone committees have undergone a refresh, giving keen community members the chance to join. Water zone committees develop actions and tactics to deliver on the 10 targets of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) in their zone. They are joint committees of Environment Canterbury and the relevant district councils or city council located within the respective zones.

Water zone committees are made up of people with a wide range of interests in water who have a strong connection to the zone. They meet monthly, to discuss local actions and tactics to recommend to councils and other organisations involved in water management.

In the north, the Kaikōura Water Zone Committee membership has remained the same under the refresh, with all of its members continuing on. There were three vacancies with all existing members reapplying to remain on the committee.

Meanwhile, the Waimakariri Water Zone Committee has welcomed two new members - Claire Aldhamland and Kirk Blumers. This means the committee is saying goodbye to members Wendy Main and Dr Judith Roper-Lindsay.

Claire Aldhamland

Claire comes on board

Claire has lived in Kainga, adjacent to the Waimakariri River, for over 15 years. She leads the Creative Arts Faculty at Rangiora High School.

Claire has held numerous community roles over the years including as president of the NZ Holsteiner Breeders Association and is the current Kainga Residents Association secretary.

"I feel joining the committee is my chance to give back to my community and ensure the preservation of freshwater values for all," she said.

"I have a passion for collaborative learning and the local environment of the Waimakariri," she added.

Kirk on the committee

Kirk Blumers

Kirk is the manager for wellbeing, occupational health and rehabilitation for the Department of Conservation (DOC). He has worked across a diverse range of projects and instigated a peer-to-peer support and mental health champion network for DOC's 3500 staff.

Kirk lives in Parklands but sees the Waimakariri as his second home, spending considerable time in the catchment, including as a keen kayaker.

"Water is a fundamental human need, it's also a great indicator of how the whenua/land is doing.

"In turn, this too describes how animal and human health is maintained," he said.

"I believe my professional skills, knowledge and abilities will serve and sustain our future communities through sustainable use and protection of awa," he added.

Community encouraged to committee

The Waimakariri and Kaikōura Water Zone Committees meet monthly - each quarter for a formal meeting, and the rest for workshops. Their meetings are public, and the community is encouraged to attend and/or contribute with ideas/proposals they have on water-related projects. They can do this by contacting the zone leads or facilitators in each area.

The Hurunui zone is still anticipating the establishment of the new Hurunui Water and Land Committee. This will replace the previous Hurunui Waiau Uwha water zone committee, which was disestablished last year.

For more information

To find out more about the committees, click here.