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Commissioners welcome opportunity to consolidate regional gains

Published: 7/09/2012 10:05 a.m. 

Environment Canterbury Commissioners welcome the opportunity to consolidate the gains made in water management and a range of other council functions.

The Minister of Local Government, David Carter, and Minister for the Environment Amy Adams, have today announced that Commissioners will continue to lead the regional council until the local government elections in October 2016. Their term had been due to conclude in October 2013.

Chair of Commissioners, Dame Margaret Bazley, said leading Environment Canterbury as it developed a robust framework for water management was one of the most rewarding roles of her career. She was very much looking forward to continuing that work with fellow commissioners, staff, Canterbury Mayors, Ngāi Tahu and other regional leaders.

“Environment Canterbury staff are incredibly passionate and skilled and it has been a privilege to lead the organisation.

“Our highest priority continues to be leading and facilitating the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. The community is working with us to develop local solutions to water management challenges and our new Land and Water Plan, and its sub-regional plans, are cementing those aspirations into a statutory framework.

“The restoration of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere will take generations, but with Ngāi Tahu, community, government and industry we are putting in place the programmes to achieve this over time.”

She said the earthquakes had had an impact on the Commissioners’ work programme and providing strong support for Minister Gerry Brownlee and CERA had been a priority. Commissioners would continue to work closely with CERA, Ngāi Tahu, and Canterbury Mayors as Christchurch recovered.

Rebuilding an effective passenger transport service for greater Christchurch was now critical. “While Metro is recovering from the impact of the earthquakes, we are looking at both the short term and long term changes necessary to return it to providing an excellent service.”

Environment Canterbury would also rebuild and move back into the central city as quickly as possible. “This will play an important part of the revitalisation of central Christchurch, and Commissioners look forward to overseeing this process.”

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