Ted talks - August 2021

Ted Howard

Ted Howard - Chair of Kaikōura Water Zone Committee

The last time you heard from me the Kaikōura Water Zone Committee was on the hunt for more members. I’m now pleased to announce that we are welcoming a new member – Des Bolton.

Des is a Kaikōura Plains based dairy farmer with a young family. She has a degree in Environmental Management and has been on the Kaikōura Plains Recovery Project Governance Group for the last three years.

We know the knowledge and understanding of farming, water, and the community that Des will bring to the committee will benefit the zone greatly.

So, welcome Des! We’re very pleased to have you onboard.

Funding supports biodiversity at Lynton Downs

At the end of July, the committee visited two sites that we supported to receive biodiversity funding from Environment Canterbury.

One of those was Lynton Downs, which received nearly $12,000 earlier this year to protect and enhance two small tributaries and native bush gullies in the Kahutara River catchment.

The project supports previous biodiversity projects in the area, so we were interested to see how best practice farm management can protect local biodiversity values in the district.

Good management practice demonstrated

At Lynton Downs we were shown areas where sheep and second-year calves were grazing. The farm manager highlighted some of the challenges in managing stock over winter, how they minimise environmental impact and protect soil health by varying their crops over winter.

Stock should be kept as far away from the waterways as possible to reduce their impact on water quality. The reality of doing this can be significantly more challenging for farmers, particularly when it rains hard enough that water is running across most of the farm.

Lynton Downs is constantly looking at how they can minimise the impact the stock has on the waterways. They have already planted natives near banks, ensured there’s good buffer strips along waterways and have been working with local Environment Canterbury staff for extra support and advice.

Thanks to Environment Canterbury’s Heath Melville for organising the trip, and the landowners for opening their gates for the committee. It was great to see good winter grazing in practice and have a conversation about those realities.

As always, and this goes for urban folk too, acting responsibly is everyone’s responsibility and there’s always more to be done in this space. We’re looking forward to seeing how the funding benefits wai/water in the area in the future.

Planning for action

Finally, over the last couple of months the committee has been busy completing an action plan that covers goals and priorities for the next few years.

Our key themes are:

  • supporting ki uta ki tai (mountains to the sea) projects
  • supporting kaitiakitanga (responsible stewardship) within the zone
  • facilitating action to enhance biodiversity and improve amenity and recreation outcomes
  • supporting the community to respond to changing requirements, and sharing resources for good management practice, and
  • facilitating understanding of catchment systems within our zone, building community knowledge and connection to these systems, and increasing public participation.

All of these goals work towards supporting our vision of; Clean Water, Healthy Life – Waiora, Hauora, Mauri Ora.

We’re looking forward to getting stuck in and seeing what another lap around the sun can provide!

Ngā mihi,

Ted.

Feature image: Protected native bush at Lynton Downs.