Members of the Christchurch-West Melton Zone Committee are inviting people to participate in the water management discussion for their zone at a meeting on Thursday evening.
The committee – set up as part of the collaborative Canterbury Water Management Strategy – meets on Thursday 28 June at the Christchurch City Council Civic Offices.
The key focus for the meeting will be on developing draft priority outcomes for water management. These priorities will feed into the committee’s draft Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP) for water management, due by the end of the year.
The zone committee hopes to have a draft ZIP ready for public feedback in October. Once the feedback has been processed a final version of the ZIP will be presented to councils to form the basis for the design and realignment of water management work programmes and long term plans.
Committee Chair Ian Fox said the monthly meetings provide a good opportunity for the community to be involved in local water management discussions.
“Our committee meetings are open to the public and we encourage locals to come along and listen to what is being said and contribute if they feel comfortable.
“The role of the committee is to work with the community to make consensus-based decisions on water management. These decisions will be contained in our programme for water management to deliver the goals and targets of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.
“The core vision of the Strategy is to ensure current and future generations are able to enjoy the benefits of our precious water resource in a sustainable way. We simply have to get water management right and we are keen to hear people’s ideas,” he said.
The Christchurch - West Melton Zone Committee has been working since November 2011 to understand the major water management issues in the zone.
There are ten zone committees across Canterbury and each has been tasked with developing local water management programmes, in conjunction with iwi, communities and partner organisations.
Ian Fox said now is a particularly good time to get involved with local water management issues.
“Over the past few months we have been focussing on coming up-to-speed with some broad water management issues and now we are starting to look at some topics in depth that will generate a lot of discussion.
“Some of these topics include how the zone committee can contribute to earthquake recovery initiatives, water efficiency initiatives, stormwater management, and the potential for the Avon - Heathcote Estuary / Ihutai to become internationally recognised for its ecological values.
“As we begin to look at these issues and flesh out priorities for water management that will feed in to the ZIP, community input will be particularly important. At this week’s meeting we will be discussing the best way to engage with the community and it would help us if people could come along to share their ideas.
“It is vital we make effective water management decisions that are in the best interests of our community and we look forward to working closely with locals when we release our draft ZIP for community feedback in near future,” said Ian Fox.
At Thursday’s meeting the zone committee will have a particular focus on developing biodiversity priority outcomes and will look to develop specific recommendations on its approach for Immediate Steps funding in the zone and how it will target the funding to deliver its biodiversity priority outcomes in its ZIP.
Immediate Steps is a $10 million programme to protect and enhance native biodiversity values. The committee is responsible for local implementation of the programme.
The zone committee operates as a joint committee of Environment Canterbury, Christchurch City Council and the Selwyn District Council. It features six community members as well as three Rūnanga representatives and three from councils. The monthly meetings are open to the public.
Christchurch – West Melton Zone Committee meeting
6pm, Thursday, 28 June
Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, 53 Hereford Street, Christchurch
Read the agenda (768 kB)