Lower Waitaki Chair keen to continue good work

Lower Waitaki Zone Committee Chair, Bruce Murphy

Newly elected Chair, Bruce Murphy

Tēnā koutou, my name is Bruce Murphy, and I’m pleased to be the recently elected Chair of the Lower Waitaki South Coastal Canterbury Water Zone Committee.

Let me first start by saying a sincere thank you to the previous Chair, Kate White, for her tireless efforts to represent the zone and the community while at the helm – we look forward to her ongoing contribution as a committee member.

I joined the Zone Committee five years ago after I became involved with the Nitrogen Allocation Reference Group (NARG) Committee that was formed to address nutrient loads in Plan Change 3 to the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) process.

I believe we have the right conditions and resources in the zone to drive our local economy through agriculture, but it’s important that we use our resources efficiently, and carefully manage our impact on the environment.

Some of my passions and hobbies include fishing and hunting, and spending time with my family. If you see me out and about in the district, be sure to say gidday – I’m very approachable!

Addressing erosion on the Waitaki River

There’s been a lot going on in the zone in the past couple of months, not least the ongoing challenges we face when it comes to erosion on the Waitaki River.

The erosion came about after a flooding event at the start of the year, which slowly but aggressively eroded away parts of the riverbanks, leaving a sizeable problem to deal with.

The estimated cost for full remediation is $1 million. Environment Canterbury will engage with the community to find a solution that best represents the interests of landowners.

I encourage all landowners and community members to get involved with this process, through the Lower Waitaki Adjacent Landowners Group, and have your say on what works should be done, and how they’re funded.

What else has been going on in Lower Waitaki?

In other news, we were briefed in July by the Morven Glenavy Ikawai Irrigation Company (MGI) on their idea of improving water quality in Wainono Lagoon by augmenting the flows in the lower reaches of the Waihao River.

Although a technical presentation, the Zone Committee was intrigued and requested a further meeting to explore information and potential benefits an augmentation could present. This presentation by MGI has now been sent to consultants for further iwi consultation.

I’d like to end by encouraging folks in the zone to consider if they have a biodiversity protection or restoration project (private or public land) that could do with funding support. It is always great to see a project that will benefit the zone, created and put forward by the community.

Learn about our biodiversity funding if you think you have such a project – Environment Canterbury may be able to help get your project across the line.