From our Chair: Council eyes big three years ahead

Peter Scott, Chair, Environment Canterbury

Peter Scott, Chair, Environment Canterbury

Newly elected chair Peter Scott outlines the challenges and opportunities for the next three years.

Now the local elections are over, you may be wondering what it all means.

From a Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury) perspective, it means we have welcomed some new faces at the governance table. There is an even split of new and returning councillors, who will make decisions about how we manage activities that might impact on the land, air and water, on behalf of our communities.

Our role as a regional council is different to the 10 city or district councils we work with in the Canterbury region. They manage things like roading, town planning, local park facilities, and libraries. Environment Canterbury manages air quality, land and water use, biodiversity and planning from a region-wide perspective.

We’re also responsible for public transport services (bus and ferry networks), the Harbourmaster’s office and regional Civil Defence Emergency Management.

Introducing the new council

I am one of a group of returning councillors, along with Deputy Chair Craig Pauling. We were both there when the Council returned to fully elected representation in 2019. It is a privilege to be selected to represent your community, and then to be chosen as Chair.

Just like 2019 was a turning point in the history of Environment Canterbury, this term shapes to be equally significant as we welcome our Ngāi Tahu Councillors: Iaean Cranwell and Tutehounuku ‘Nuk’ Korako. They have a huge task ahead representing all communities but in particular the 76,000 plus people who whakapapa to Ngāi Tahu and the 10 Papatipu Rūnanga who selected them as their representatives.

Collectively your 16 councillor representatives offer a range of experience and expertise and we’re sure to enjoy some robust debate as different perspectives are brought to the table. It is essential for us as decision makers to carefully consider a range of views and I believe we can become a strong team, working together for the good of Waitaha Canterbury over the next three years.

We have an ambitious work programme, including reviewing our Regional Policy Statement, Land and Water Plan and Coastal Environment Plan. Through this review we will achieve national direction and deliver an integrated ki uta ki tai (from the mountains to the sea) plan in partnership with Ngāi Tahu as mana whenua of Waitaha. This work will go a long way to determining the kind of region we live in and what activities can be undertaken where. The aim is to enable sustainable growth while ensuring we protect and enhance the things that are important to us.

We’re also gearing up to adapt to significant issues including climate change, a new approach to resource management, the Future for Local Government review, and Three Waters Reform.

The strength of our relationship with Ngāi Tahu and Papatipu Rūnanga is key to our success. This partnership is a priority for our Council and, having Ngāi Tahu Councillors around the table, puts us in an excellent place to achieve great success.

I know I can speak for all councillors when I say we are looking forward to working with the community over the next three years.

About our chair Peter Scott

  • Age: 67
  • Occupation: Peter is a mixed-crop farmer from Kerrytown, east of Pleasant Point.
  • Family: Married to Adrienne; they have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren.
  • Council experience: In his third term as an Environment Canterbury Councillor. Deputy Chair from 2018-2022.
  • Leadership roles: Previous Chief Executive of Opuha Water, a director of Horticulture New Zealand, and a director of Irrigation New Zealand.
Featured image: The new Environment Canterbury Council, back row, from left: David East, Claire McKay, Nuk Korako, Iaean Cranwell, Joe Davies, Nick Ward, Deon Swiggs, Paul Dietsche. Front row, from left: Grant Edge, Greg Byrnes, Vicky Southworth, Craig Pauling (Deputy Chair), Peter Scott (Chair), Genevieve Robinson, Ian Mackenzie, John Sunckell.