Ashburton water zone committee

The Ashburton water zone committee is a joint committee of Ashburton District Council and Environment Canterbury.

The committee's role is to work with the community to develop actions and tactics to deliver on the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

It recommends these actions and tactics to various agencies for implementation.

View members

Learn more about the current community members, Rūnanga representatives, Council appointments and Environment Canterbury representatives.

Community members

Bill Thomas (Chair)

Bill Thomas is a farmer in the lower Hinds. His family has farmed the historic Longbeach Estate for more than 150 years.

The farm is a mixed sheep, beef, dairy grazing and arable operation which also includes a self-contained dairy unit.

The estate has a commercial function centre; hosting events such as weddings, business and sports events. William is a member of the Eiffelton Irrigation Scheme and has 17 years’ experience as a commercial director, including directorship of PGG Wrightson Ltd.

He has also served on two school Boards of Trustees.

Chris Allen (Deputy Chair)

Chris Allen farms beside Taylors Stream and sits on Federated Farmers National Board with responsibility for RMA, Water and Environment.

Chris is currently Deputy Chair of the Ashburton Zone Committee.

Adi Avnit

Adi Avnit resides in Ashburton and has been involved in multiple community groups and projects, both as the former coordinator for the Hakatere Multi-Cultural Council and as a volunteer. He has experience engaging with community groups, especially migrants, and with managing projects and charities.

Angela Cushnie

Angela Cushnie owns a communications business and a lifestyle property at Eiffelton. She is a member of many local organisations and was a founding member and Trustee of the Kanuka Mid-Canterbury Regeneration Trust.

Sidinei Teixeira

Sidinei Teixeira was the Head of Science at Mt Hutt College (Methven) from 2015 to 2021. She now teaches chemistry at Christ’s College and is currently completing a master's degree in Water Resource Management.

Clare Buchanan

Clare Buchanan is Head of Environment and Innovation for an innovative local farming business which is undertaking a trial of regenerative farming.

Genevieve de Spa

Genevieve de Spa (Gen) is an ex-paramedic with a deep belief that indigenous wisdom, especially Te Ao Maori, has much to offer us towards the restoration and regeneration of our living planet.

Gen joined the Ashburton-Hinds Zone Committee as an opportunity to question the dominant business model and advocate for water as a living being. Gen brings to the Committee experiential wisdom in community education and organising, Timebanks, Gift Economy and Savings Pools as well as a committed practice of experimenting with Wellbeing Economics design. She is completing her Masters in Wellbeing Economics alongside initiating a remnant native forest restoration and biodiversity education project at her home in Staveley.

Gen's concern for water and the climate is largely motivated by a love of snowboarding, skiing and river swimming.

Rūnanga representatives

  • Arapata Reuben - Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga
  • Vacant - Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua

  • Jess Hobbs - Te Taumutu Rūnanga

Ashburton District Council appointment

  • Cr Richard Wilson

Environment Canterbury appointment

  • Cr Ian Mackenzie 

Zone committee key resources

Download key documents developed by the committee, and view meeting minutes, agendas and presentations:

Zone Implementation Programmes

Zone Implementation Programmes (ZIPs) - were developed when water zone committees were established. These bits of work followed the adoption of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy and aimed to provide overarching goals for water management in the ten different water zones of Waitaha/Canterbury. 

While we may have moved-on in terms of our priorities in each zone, ZIPs remain the foundation of the work we do.

Zone contacts

Jaimee Grant — Zone Facilitator   027 220 2694 

Stephen Bragg — Tangata Whenua Facilitator  027 487 3892 

Get in touch

Zone contacts

Jaimee Grant — Zone Facilitator   027 220 2694 

Stephen Bragg  — Tangata Whenua Facilitator     027 487 3892

Local on-the-ground team 

Staff deliver work related to the zone committee's recommendations through an on-the-ground team, also called zone delivery.

See a list of staff working in your area and find out how to contact them.

Email newsletters

The committee has an email newsletter, which sends zone news, columns from the committee chair, and key events straight to your inbox. Sign-up to our mailing list to receive these newsletters.

Advice and resources for farmers 

Staff are available locally throughout the region to provide advice and assistance to farmers.

See information and resources for farmers on the Farmers' Hub page.