March update: Kaikōura zone delivery lead

Weed and predator control, the Middle Creek catchment project, and increasing awareness and engagement around mahinga kai are only some of the work/mahi being done in the Kaikōura zone. Kaikōura zone delivery manager Kevin Heays reports on what the zone team has been up to in the first quarter of the year. 

Kaikōura zone delivery lead Kevin Heays

Kaikōura zone delivery lead Kevin Heays

Kia ora everyone! And just like that, the first quarter of the year is nearly over. I hope everyone’s doing well, as we continue to navigate life with COVID-19 in the community.

I know it’s been tough for a lot of people who have either had the virus or have had to isolate, and everyone’s lives have been impacted in one way or another, so my thoughts are with you all.

As the year ticks by, our focus continues to be on our work programme, which sets out our goals and actions for the raft of community/local and regional priorities that we’re working towards.

The work programme is a big bit of work that helps us forecast budget needs, resources required, and areas to prioritise, based on what we’re hearing from the community and what our organisation decides upon each year through the Annual Plan.

Big rocks on the horizon

We have certain projects that are big  both in terms of work required to get them done, but also collaboration and funding needed to get them over the line. We call these the ‘big rocks’.

Weed and predator control work

Our land management and biodiversity advisor Heath Melville will continue weed control planning for the Waiau Toa Clarence catchment. There’s lots of work happening in this catchment, with much support from other agencies and our regional biodiversity team. Heath will also be keeping up with the many wetland and riparian projects being managed in the zone and will be kicking off a project working with landowners in the Hāpuku catchment.

Kaikōura Flats projects

Land management advisor Pete Bradshaw will remain in charge of work in the Kaikōura Flats – his awesome mahi with landowners as part of the Middle Creek catchment project and supporting farmers to get on top of their farm environment plans and good management practices will continue.

Jodie Hoggard and I will continue our work with catchment groups. Jodie is working on ways we can support landowners in the Mill Road area in establishing their own biodiversity projects.

She’s got great expertise in this space, having planted an area of her own property a number of years ago, now seeing the benefits of what some native plants and rolled-up sleeves can do.

Mahinga kai awareness

Pou Mātai Kō (Cultural Land Management Advisor) Makarini Rupene will be continuing to support increased awareness and engagement around mahinga kai and how he can share this knowledge with others in the community. He’s got some events planned, so keep an eye out for when dates are confirmed for these.

When it comes to resource management, our newest member of the team, Garry Husband, is continuing to get his feet under the desk (or out in the district), with a focus on regionally significant and zone priority consents, monitoring, environmental incident reports, and data analysis.


Although we have a rough timeline of when all this work will be done over the next six months, it’s important to remember the weather and other circumstances (COVID-19 included) can mean sometimes we have to reschedule certain projects.

Some actions are seasonally based, while others are around landowner preferences, and as you can imagine, it can be complicated trying to fit it all in. I’m proud of the mahi our team continues to achieve and have every confidence we will see more great work completed over the next six months.

Get in touch

As always, if there’s anything I’ve said here you’d like to discuss further or something else topical you want to raise with me – give me a call on 027 646 2230. I always enjoy hearing from you.

Take care and talk again soon.