Getting Christchurch West Melton's action plan underway

Christchurch West Melton Water Zone Committee Chair Kevin Brown provides an update on the committee’s newest members and their plan for the year ahead.

Committee Chair Kevin Brown

Committee Chair Kevin Brown

I’d like to start by welcoming some new committee members to the group. We had the committee refresh earlier this year, and I’m pleased to announce that Mike Patchett, Helen Rutter, Shona Sluys and Brynlea Stocks will be joining the committee.

Between them, they bring a range of knowledge, understanding and values to the group. From environmental management to community group leadership, education experience and groundwater science – there’s lots for us to be excited about, and lots of opportunities to support and grow the work the committee has planned for the next three years.

We’re also excited to have Kākati Te Kākākura Royal onboard. He is the new Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke representative. We look forward to working together on water in the zone.

Many thanks to outgoing members Gareth Oddy, Helen Caley, and Carly Sluys. Thanks for the input during your time as committee members and best wishes for your next endeavours.

The year ahead

The committee has recently been working on setting out key areas of focus for the next three years and priority topics for the coming year. While our action plan is ambitious, we’re confident that it has good foundations set over the last couple of years for us to continue.

Stormwater Superhero campaign

The Stormwater Superhero campaign will be much more visible this year at events and schools. We are also looking into hosting another Stormwater Superheroes Business Award – so if you know a local business doing positive things in this space, do get in touch.

Engaging the community

Engagement remains a focus for the committee. We’re looking at ways to engage with community groups and understand the challenges they are facing so we can support them.

Alongside this, we will continue to work collaboratively with those who have signed the Community Waterways Partnership Charter, and advocate for stormwater behaviour change and management plan engagement, biodiversity and water use efficiency.


Another area we are wanting to focus on over the next twelve months is groundwater. It’s an area in which I personally am interested and am hoping to host some events to share information and understanding about our groundwater systems across the Plains.

Keep an eye out for these if you’re interested in learning about what’s under your feet!

Find out more about the state of our water.

Other key areas

Also, we have identified areas where we would like to see change happen, and are focusing on advocating at local, regional and national levels for change or oversight to happen in these spaces. Over the next year we will advocate for (to name a few):

  • improvements to erosion and sediment control on the Port Hills
  • research on the potential link between nitrate levels and colorectal cancer
  • drylands biodiversity protection.

As you can see, it’s shaping to be another busy year for water, but one we are looking forward to. We’ll keep you posted through Environment Canterbury’s channels. 

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Ngā mihi,