Empowering communities to make their own decisions locally to meet region-wide targets is pivotal to the success of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. This requires genuine engagement with local communities and practical consultation that gets people involved in water management at a grassroots level.
Give locals real power
The zone committees are made up of people with a passion for their local area and respect for their knowledge has become a firm principle of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. Allowing communities to guide our water management work gives local people genuine power. We listen to communities' opinions and provide opportunities to discuss issues while exploring potential solutions together.
Make time to talk
Informal discussions often produce the best ideas and solutions so we take time to nurture meaningful dialogue. Making time to talk and listening to different opinions ensures that everyone has their views taken into account. Whether it’s chatting on the bus during field trips, leaning over the farm gate or over a cup of coffee after a committee meeting, meaningful interaction is best achieved by meeting local people in places where they feel comfortable.
Having skilled facilitators involved from the start of the process has helped committees make their own decisions. The facilitators bring committees together and find a common vision for building consensus while ensuring that progress is made towards achieving zone targets.