Asburton Zone representatives 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

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 is the Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury Provincial president, and chair of its regional policy committee.

He has been an active member of the Ashburton River Water User group, is on the MGM governance group, and has been chair of the CLWP since its formation two years ago.

He currently farms sheep, beef and mixed cropping on 360 hectares of land which is fully irrigated from surface and groundwater at Ashburton Forks.

Chris has been involved in the Mount Somers Springburn School Board of Trustees and the Lions Club.


Angela Cushnie

Angela Cushnie is a lifestyle block owner in the Hinds area, and for more than twenty years has owned and operated a marketing and communication business that engages with a wide sector of the business and agricultural community.

In addition she is involved in community activities such as the Longbeach Coastal Challenge Committee, Project for Life (a pilot project that engages with primary industry stakeholders), and the Outward Bound Council.

Cargill Henderson

Cargill Henderson is an Environmental Manager at ANZCO, whose work involves managing and operating environmental management systems for the company, including meeting ECan resource consent requirements through improving on-plant waste treatment systems, water management and compliance reporting.

In previous roles he has supervised the installation and maintenance of telemetered environmental monitoring stations and overseen their certification for water meter installation, verification and data management across five New Zealand Regional Councils.

He brings technical and data management experience to the committee, as well as a background in monitoring of groundwater, surface water and other environmental parameters.

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

  • Leslie Wanhalla - Te Taumutu Rūnanga
Ashburton District Council appointment
  • Cr Stuart Wilson
Environment Canterbury appointment
  • Cr Ian Mackenzie 

View agendas and meeting papers

How are zone committee members selected?

Water zone committee members are appointed after councils advertise for expressions of interest from the community.

Applicants are assessed on skills, expertise and experience, as well as their ability to work together to develop water management solutions to economic, social, cultural and environmental issues.

Each water zone committee has between seven and 10 members, including:

  • An Environment Canterbury appointee
  • A local territorial authority councillor
  • A rūnanga appointee
  • Between four and six local members nominated from the community who come from a variety of backgrounds and interests.

Members serve for three years, meeting every few weeks to gather information from stakeholders and the community to ensure all interests are represented.

Upcoming meetings and agendas

Find out when your zone's next meeting is and read the agenda.

Zone Implementation Programmes

Zone Implementation Programmes or 'ZIPs' were developed in the early stages of the zone committees' existence, following the adoption of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

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

You can download the Ashburton ZIP and addendum using the buttons at the bottom of the page and view submissions on the draft ZIP here.