January update: Kaikōura zone delivery lead

Well, just like that we’re already a month into 2022! I hope everyone had a fantastic summer – it’s always a special time to get together with loved ones and celebrate the year that’s been, and the year that’s coming.

New face around town

We’ve kicked off the new year with a new face in our Kaikōura office – Garry Husband. 

Garry Husband, our new Kaikōura resource management officer

Garry joins us as the new resource management officer (RMO) for Kaikōura. He previously spent some time working for Inland Revenue and Fonterra. It was these joint experiences where Garry’s strong people skills and adaptability were highlighted, making him the perfect candidate for the role. He’s familiar with our community, having worked in hospitality here for nine years in a former life.

Over the summer, Garry moved back to Kaikōura from Timaru. We are thrilled to have Garry on board, working and living in the place we call home, and his appointment indicates that things are getting back on track post-earthquake, especially in the consents space.

Having an RMO based here means that consent applicants and holders can get advice much quicker and easily. Any issues can be identified and sorted in an even more precise manner than previously, and breaches of consent conditions can be dealt with quickly.

Garry will be working for us as well as regular time with Kaikōura District Council. We’re very lucky to have him on board and this flexible arrangement will evolve and adapt as and when needed.

I’m sure you will all join me in giving Garry a warm welcome – don’t be afraid to say hello if you see him around – hopefully in a non-compliance-related capacity!

Middle Creek project

Changing tune a little, it’s time for an update on some our key projects in the area. Firstly, our Middle Creek work in the Kaikōura Flats catchment.

Rachel Bjornsson, here in our office, has led the work to research and collate findings from a scientific and observational stream walk. Water quality issues like sediment, slumping, stock access, weed overgrowth and overland flow paths/nutrient runoff have all appeared and need to be addressed.

We are now prioritising mitigation of these issues. Our land/whenua management and biodiversity advisor Peter Bradshaw is leading the actions and discussions and is talking with neighbouring landowners about the issues, what it means for them, and how best we can resolve it. Funding could be available to help with native plantings and fencings, where necessary.  

You’ll be hearing more on progress in the coming months. We’re looking forward to working with people in this catchment, as it’s a crucial waterway when it comes to protecting and improving water quality on the Kaikōura flats.

Waiau Toa/Clarence River

Another big project which is underway is our whanaungatanga/collaborative project in the Waiau Toa/Clarence River catchment. We’ve been partnered with Land Information New Zealand, the Department of Conservation, local landowners, and community for the last five-years in the catchment, focusing on weed and pest control. Heath Melville continues to be our lead advisor in this project.

Progress includes aerial and land-based spraying of weeds in the riverbed and along the banks, as well as protecting the indigenous flora and fauna through actions such as creating islands and trapping. This work started over the summer and is ongoing. We are dedicated to joining forces with agencies and neighbours to ensure the river is maintained as the natural magnificent water way it has been.

I am committed to providing updates from all our community environmental projects over the year. They are great success stories on the scale and benefit of taking a catchment approach.

Celebrating committed community members

I also just want to take the opportunity to congratulate some of our community members on their recent recognition.

Ailsa McGilvary-Howard and Ted Howard have both been listed as recipients of a Queen’s Service Medal for their services to conservation. Meanwhile, Gina Solomon has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to conservation and governance. Ted and Gina are also both water zone committee members.

This office is proud of the trio for their work/mahi!

As always, if you'd like to contact me about any of this, call me on 027 646 2230.

Ngā mihi,

Kev