Newest leaders in Waimakariri

There are new faces leading the Waimakariri Water Zone Committee. Carolyne Latham has been appointed as chair, and Erin Harvie as deputy, and, in a first for the committee, it has also appointed a youth representative — Ruby Gill-Clifford.

Hear from these three wahine/women about their intentions and passions.

Carolyne Latham — chair

Carolyne has been on the committee since 2015. She joined because of her concern about water resources and also wanting to gain a greater understanding of how decisions were being made and what perspectives were being considered.

"I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into because straight after joining, the committee was into public consultation and Plan Change 7 discussions, followed by the drafting of a Zone Implementation Programme Addendum," she said.

Despite the steep learning curve, Carolyne has really enjoyed her time on the committee.

"I like the fact that it’s full of a diverse range of locals with a broad range of expertise and views that often challenge my own thinking," she said.

Outside of committee commitments, Carolyne and her husband Mark run a sheep and beef farm near Sefton, as well as a consulting business that specialises in the South Island high country.

"I’m privileged to have been working in conservation, farming and sustainability in one of the most spectacular parts of the country for nearly 20 years," she said.

"There’s a lot I hope to achieve in this next term, including helping facilitate consultation on proposed legislation changes, working on a collaborative plan for the Rakahuri/Ashley River, encouraging the formation of more catchment groups, and helping support some awesome projects in the area," Carolyne added.

Erin Harvie — deputy

As Erin begins her second term on the committee, she also takes on a new role — deputy chair. She said it was her work as an environmental consultant which drew her to the committee in the first place.

"I saw the impact Plan Change 7 had on our district and I wanted to join the committee and be an advocate for the rural sector to help ensure there was balanced representation at the table," Erin said.

The Kaiapoi resident wants to make sure others in the zone are well informed of upcoming proposals.

"With all the proposed regulations coming in, there is a real threat of disengagement and burnout within our rural communities. I want to ensure that all parts of our district have a fair and equal chance to provide input into the planning process and are aware of the potential impacts of any changes," she said.

Ruby Gill-Clifford — youth representative

At just 19 years old, Ruby has become the first youth representative on the committee. She said her previous involvement in Environment Canterbury’s Youth Rōpū, and her current studies in environmental science at the University of Canterbury, pushed her to take the leap.

"I was looking for a local way to apply the skills and knowledge I had been given. I saw joining this committee as an opportunity to push for change in a professional sense, and to work with people of various professions, ages, and outlooks," she said.

Ruby hopes to bring a youth perspective to the committee and its decisions.

"I look forward to being a part of a new direction for water issues in my area and gaining insight into the systems that facilitate this in Aotearoa," she said.

For more on the committee

Find out about the committee’s upcoming meetings and view its agendas.