Deep roots in Selwyn Waihora

It’s spring, and as we celebrate warmer weather and (hopefully) an end to COVID-19 restrictions, a lot is happening around the region.

The Selwyn Waihora Zone Committee is no exception, as we work to renew our efforts to promote healthy waterways from the mountains to the sea.

Selwyn Waihora Zone Committee Co-Chair Fiona McDonald

Fiona McDonald, Co-Chair, Selwyn Waihora Zone Committee

Earlier this year, I was elected Co-Chair of the Zone Committee. I look forward to leading the group – together with fellow Co-Chair Les Wanhalla – as we set new goals for community engagement and waterway protection for the next three years.

A bit about me

My mother’s family lived on Kaitorete Spit for 100 years, while my father’s family are from Hororata.

I’m now lucky enough to have a house in Castle Hill, so I have roots throughout the Selwyn region and connections to the beautiful high country lakes, the Waimakariri River, the Waikirikiri / Selwyn River and its tributaries, and Te Waihora / Lake Ellesmere on the coast.

As a board member of Education Outdoors New Zealand and Recreation Aotearoa, I am passionate about Cantabrians exploring our natural environment.

I’m particularly interested in education and exploring the ways to connect schools with their local environmental projects, community groups and farmers.

We’re lucky to live in this part of Aotearoa

Although our lowland environment is heavily modified, we have some great pockets of native biodiversity that need to be protected, and even expanded.

And we are very fortunate to live in a region full of recreational opportunities, especially in the high country.

The Canterbury high country is such a precious environment that we should be doing all we can to protect.

It offers us amazing opportunities to connect with nature, promote our wellbeing and challenge ourselves – whether it’s pulling out wilding pines, paddling down a river or climbing to the top of a hill as a family.

New committee members welcome

I first heard about the Selwyn Waihora Zone Committee from a former committee member, who recommended that I apply. A few years later, here I am with a seat at the table.

Later this year, some of our longest-serving committee members will be leaving. We’re grateful for their dedication to working for our zone over the best part of a decade.

But this also means we will be looking for some new members. If you know someone – maybe yourself – who is passionate about the waterways of the Selwyn Waihora region, please come to one of our meetings to find out more.

Nāku i runga i aku mihi ki a koe (yours with thanks),

Fiona McDonald.