September update: Kaikōura Zone Delivery Lead

Kevin Heays

Kaikōura zone delivery lead, Kevin Heays

Kaikōura zone delivery lead Kevin Heays updates us on outdoor burning during Alert Level 4, the catchment approach, and how to get in touch.

Alert Level 4 has come again, and this time round feels familiar, but also different.

With the Delta variant of COVID-19 now on our shores, we’re all bunkering down and keeping ourselves in our bubbles once again.

The Kaikōura team has been keeping each other entertained and engaged during this lockdown – I’m extremely proud of the way the team roll their sleeves up at the home office and do what they can to keep making progress.

Keeping safe is our number one priority during these times, which I’m sure rings true for everyone in the community and especially for our legendary essential service workers – big shout out to all the people who are still working business as usual to keep us fed, clothed, and healthy.

Outdoor burning at Alert Level 4 – don’t do it

We’ve received a large number of calls from people concerned about outdoor fires during Alert Level 4 and, at times, the chimney smoke has been obvious in the district.

Waste and plastic needs to be kept out of the fireplace - we know it can be a hassle having rubbish stored on your property until we move down the levels, but it’s a far better option than letting our environment, and our lungs, store it.

When it comes to outdoor burning, even if the fire is under control the smoke often results in 111 calls which mean firefighters need to deal with an avoidable call and risk exposure to COVID-19. You may have seen the local fire service post on Facebook about this recently.

Any escaped fire puts fire crews at risk. Please put any old fires completely out and don’t light any new fires while we are in lockdown. Do your bit to keep everyone safe.

Catchments on my mind

I raised this in my last column but I’d like to talk some more about our catchments and the groups of people working within them.

The catchment approach is all about neighbours of significant creeks and rivers getting together over a beer, juice, milk, or water to talk about how they can look after their combined stretch of waterway together.

No chairpersons, secretaries, committees, or minutes. Just a group of people keen to see some good outcomes for the water near their property.

Areas that come to mind for me include the businesses and retailers that border Lyell Creek along West End – the ‘Lower Lyell Links’ if you will. Other catchy catchment groups could be the ‘Middle Creek Connexions’, ‘Old Beach Road Happy Hapua’s’, ‘Waiau Toa Clarence Community Co-Op’, ‘Spring Head Owners Coalition’, or ‘Kaikōura Wetland Owners' Organisation’. Some good names to get you started there.

When we’re out of lockdown our Kaikōura team will be looking at ways we can support any groups that come forward – maybe over some sausage rolls. We can help develop some “how to” guides, plans, or facilitate financial support to get the group started.

Lockdown is a great time to bring your people together, so if you’ve got a group that’s keen, get in touch.

Get in touch

As always, we’re here to help, or simply just have a chat. Pete B is keeping the farm support rolling over, Mike’s covering rivers, Jan’s wrapped up in biosecurity, Rach is on the phones, Rob’s keeping resource management ticking, and Heath’s pulling weeds.  

If you’re worried about any environmental incidents throughout Kaikōura, give customer services a call on 0800 324 636.

If you’d like to have a chat about the catchment approach, give me a call on 027 646 2230.

Stay well, stay safe.

Until next time,

Kev