Action planning underway for OTOP Water Zone Committee

Lucy Millar, Chair OTOP Water Zone Committee

We know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from the Orari Temuka Opihi Pareora (OTOP) Water Zone Committee. That’s because we decided to put our public meetings on hold over June and July while the process for recruiting new members was being carried out and to allow us to refocus in earnest with a refreshed team.

I’m pleased to say that in just a few weeks we’ll be holding a planning workshop with our new community members, who we’ll be announcing soon, and then move onto a full public meeting in Timaru in September.

During our break from holding meetings, we presented our annual review (PDF File, 3.15MB) to our partner councils (Timaru, Waimate, Mackenzie and Environment Canterbury). This document gives an overview of key achievements for 2020, including the biodiversity projects we recommended such as weed and predator control at Orari River and native planting and restoration at Taniwha Gully tuhituhi neherā rock art site.

Establishing our action plan

I’m looking forward to our group coming back together to work on our action plan for 2021 and onwards. We’ll be sharing this with the community once it’s ready so we can be transparent about exactly what our priorities are – and what action we’ll be taking to help make these happen.  

Impending national and regional environmental regulations will certainly be top of mind but we also want to add our value by looking at what we can do to improve water quality within our local communities.

Our action plan will prioritise the projects and activities we believe will have the most on-the-ground impact, while still working towards the overarching goals set out in our Zone Implementation Programme Addendum (ZIPA) that we recommended to our local councils in 2018. 

A quick refresher – these goals include the provision of safe drinking water, protecting mahinga kai and sites of cultural significance, protecting native plants and their habitat and maintaining a reliable source of water that contributes to the economy. 

Come along to our next meeting

Due to Covid-19 alert level 3, the next OTOP meeting will now be held online on Monday 6 September 2021 at 1pm, members of the public are welcome to attend. Please email Janine Roux (Zone Facilitator) to request an online link to the meeting.

We’ll share the agenda for our September public meeting closer to the time, but we know that it’s going to be a busy meeting – and, as usual, there will be a community forum where members of the public can share their thoughts and ideas with us. 

For more information you can contact the OTOP Water Zone Committee facilitator Janine Roux at or head to our the water zone section on our website.