Wainui well engaged

Banks Peninsula Water Zone Committee member Garrick Thorn recaps the Committee’s September meeting in Wainui.

Committee member, Garrick Thorn

Committee member, Garrick Thorn

Wainui is a great place to visit, not just for the views and the bird song, but for the locals who always make us feel welcome and join us to share their thoughts.

Our September meeting was held in the Wainui community hall, with agenda items focusing on the work that is happening in the freshwater management space in Wainui.

We had around 15 local community members attend the meeting, and it was great to see how well engaged and how passionate they were about their local waterways.

E. coli research

At the meeting, Dr Ed Challies, Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Canterbury, updated us on a research project that took place last summer where summer students measured contaminant levels in Wainui Stream, focusing on E. coli.

This was another great example of the engaged community; supporting the students during the research by providing information and context.

The results of the research showed that avian/bird and ruminant/stock were the main sources of E. coli over the study period. Some slight evidence of human sources of E. coli was found, but this might be higher when heavy rainfall coincides with high occupancy during busy parts of the summer holiday season.

Management options for this were discussed and residents raised many important considerations.

Although answers cannot always be provided at Committee meetings, it’s important for the community to share their questions with us – it helps us understand what matters most to our local communities.

In turn, we can help find ways to support that community.

Engagement appreciation

I’d like to take some time to thank the Wainui community for coming along, joining us for a tea, and letting us know their thoughts.

It was valuable to have their input throughout the meeting and it provided us with some food for thought for the future.

Seeing engaged and interested communities is the highlight to being on the Committee and I encourage others interested in freshwater management on Banks Peninsula to come along to meetings or get in touch with your thoughts, questions, comments or concerns.

Join our meetings

Some meeting topics that we focus on are specific (think Wainui and Whakaraupō), but other times we cover overarching themes such as biodiversity, mahinga kai, climate change and water quantity – all things that affect and influence freshwater management on Banks Peninsula.

Attending a meeting is a great way to get a sense of what we, as a committee, do. It gives a good insight to those who might be interested in becoming a member themselves.

Find out when the next meeting is (including agenda, time and location). 

Ngā mihi,
Garrick.