The Christchurch–West Melton Water Management Zone Committee meeting schedule.
Read past committee agendas and minutes
23 July 2014: Stormwater management and earthquake recovery key focus for water management meeting
26 June 2014: Community water management topics on zone committee agenda for Thursday
By Ian Fox, Chair of the Christchurch West Melton Zone Committee
The Christchurch West Melton Zone Committee has started a significant project to improve the water quality in Addington Brook. The “Lets Clean the Stream” project involves local businesses in the area that feeds into Addington Brook – with support from Environment Canterbury and Christchurch City Council employees.
Addington Brook is a small but important waterway that winds its way through South Christchurch, between Blenheim Road and Lincoln Road, before joining the Avon River/Ōtākaro in South Hagley Park. Many of you will be familiar with the spot where the Brook joins the Avon, just beside the entrance to the daffodil garden.
Many Christchurch people are unaware of the Brook and the path it takes through the city, as for much of its journey it runs underground. But it is a key waterway and one we need to take greater care of. This is because Addington Brook flows directly into the Avon River/Ōtākaro and has a direct impact on the river’s water. If we want to improve the Avon River/Ōtākaro we need to improve the water quality in the waterways that feed it.
Rain that does not soak into the ground becomes stormwater and flows directly to rivers - muck in stormwater directly impacts water quality. Almost all stormwater in Christchurch that runs from our roofs, roads, driveways, businesses and other hard surfaces flows via gutters and drains into an underground network and finally ends up, untreated, in our streams and rivers.
So anything you do that puts dirt, rubbish or chemicals onto driveways or streets will cause pollution of streams and rivers. Pollution causes unhealthy rivers – tell-tale signs include warm and stagnant smelly water, stones and plants covered in silt, as well as excessive algae growth in summer.
Businesses and residents are being asked to help Businesses within the Addington catchment will be visited by Environment Canterbury employees who will share simple tips on how to help keep our rivers clean. We believe that business owners and employees care about water quality and want to ensure they do their bit to help. Actions to make a difference include storing chemicals away from drains and waterways and having good processes for managing spills and making sure that rubbish and chemicals don’t get washed down drains.
But it’s not just business owners that can help. Christchurch residents also have a huge role to play by keeping an eye on what flows from their property into the drains and ensuring that the runoff is clear and not cloudy with sediment or other waste matter.
We know from our research that Christchurch people want clean waterways and this is something simple that we can all do to make a very real difference. It doesn’t take a huge amount of effort but you do need to care enough to take some positive steps.
The Christchurch–West Melton Zone Committee was formed in late 2011 to work with the community to make consensus based decisions about water management in the zone.
The committee's Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP) for water management provides recommendations to deliver the targets of the CWMS.
The ZIP was finalised following extensive community engagement and, having been endorsed by councils, it now forms the basis for water management work programmes.
The committee is now focussed on implementing its priority recommendations for water management.
It is also looking at some topics in more depth including earthquake recovery, water efficiency, stormwater management and the ecological values of the Avon - Heathcote Estuary / Ihutai.
The committee has identified improving urban stormwater management as critical to implementing the CWMS in the zone. The committee has recommended a community-led approach is taken to developing innovative, desirable, effective, and affordable stormwater management solutions.
The Christchurch - West Melton Zone Committee as a joint committee of Christchurch City and Selwyn District councils and Environment Canterbury.
It features six community members as well as three Rūnanga representatives and three from council.
Last year nine Christchurch youth aged between 14 and 24 attended a two-day hui to get involved in local water management.
The hui was organised by Environment Canterbury in conjunction with the Christchurch – West Melton Zone Committee.
The vision of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) is to enable present and future generations the greatest benefits from our water resources within an environmentally sustainable framework.
For this reason it is vital for young people to be involved in the process now and ensure they have the information and the interest to contribute.
On the first day of the hui participants undertook a full-day field trip to visit significant sites for water management in Christchurch.
Following this, the students went to Rehua Marae to reflect on the day's activities and learn about Ngāi Tahu values, before staying the night on the marae.
The next day the group was welcomed by Environment Canterbury Commissioner David Caygill and heard from the Ministry of Youth Development on how to get the voice of youth heard.
This was followed by a session on the Christchurch–West Melton Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP) and its vision for local water management. The group made a formal response to the ZIP.
The Christchurch youth hui is the first in what is hoped to be a series across the ten CWMS zones.
View larger map (jpg 158 kB)
(03) 353 9007
0800 324 636 (EC INFO)
More contact details »