Regional Committee a milestone for Canterbury's water management

Friday 3 September 2010, 3:22PM
By Environment Canterbury


Canterbury’s water management has reached a significant milestone with the appointment of seven community representatives to the Regional Committee of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

“The establishment of the Regional Committee is a major achievement in building a community-driven approach to water management,” said David Caygill, Environment Canterbury Commissioner.

“Environment Canterbury is working with communities around Canterbury to develop enduring solutions to protect our fresh water rivers, streams and lakes for generations to come.

“We are also very pleased to announce Dr Andy Pearce has been appointed by Dame Margaret Bazley as Chair of the Regional Committee.

“Andy brings a wealth of governance experience and a deep understanding of the issues around the sustainable management of water.

“His leadership experience, technical expertise and commitment to the collaborative approach of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy will be a welcome addition to the Regional Committee.

“Establishment of the Regional Committee marks the culmination of more than six years of work by the Mayoral Forum, Environment Canterbury and many other organisations and individuals to develop a comprehensive and integrated strategy for water management.”

The seven community appointees were selected after a thorough and rigorous process. They are Hugh Logan, Jay Graybill, Hamish Cuthbert, Eugenie Sage, John Donkers, Hugh Canard and Terry Heiler (brief bios follow).

“We had a field of 39 very strong candidates for the Regional Committee,” said David Caygill.

“At the start of this process we said we were looking for people with a range of interests to provide collective experience and expertise in a range of areas.

“Looking at the community committee appointees I believe we have achieved that goal. In addition to their individual expertise, experience and leadership skills, each committee member has a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively.”

Joining the community members on the Regional Committee are Environment Canterbury Commissioners David Caygill and Peter Skelton; Chrissie Williams from Christchurch City Council; district council representatives Ron Keating, Bede O’Malley and Nigel Gormack, a representative or appointee from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu; three runanga appointees (from north, mid and south Canterbury); as well as a representative from each of the 10 zone committees. The appointments are for a three year term.

“The role of the Regional Committee is to address water management issues that cannot be effectively tackled at a zone level,” said David Caygill.

“This role includes working with local communities and zone committees to build trust and understanding that the Canterbury Water Management Strategy is the best opportunity we have to achieve solutions which will stand us in good stead for generations to come.”

The Committee will tackle regional issues of environmental restoration and repair; land-use impacts on water quality; as well as water storage, distribution and efficiency options.

A key focus for the Regional Committee will be the Immediate Steps biodiversity programme. It will have around $240,000 in funding this year to support and implement projects that have a regional impact.

The Regional Committee operates as a committee of Environment Canterbury under the Local Government Act.

Brief biographies

Andy (Andrew) Pearce (Chair)
Andy brings broad governance and management experience to the Regional Committee. He has been involved with a diverse range of public and private-sector organisations including in the infrastructure sector, banking, publicly listed companies, research and development organisations, as well as the not-for-profit sector. Andy was founding Chief Executive Officer of Landcare Research in 1992 and sits on a number of boards including the Bank of New Zealand, Christchurch City Holdings, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, and Terranova Charitable Trust.

Andy was involved in the development of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy in 2006 and 2007. He chaired the multi-stakeholder Stage III evaluation of water storage options for the Canterbury Strategic Water Study.

He also has a deep interest in, and knowledge of, the sustainable management and use of water and energy resources. Andy has developed a global perspective through working in both developed and developing countries including Australia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Iran and Pakistan.

Hugh Logan (Lansdowne)
Hugh Logan is a natural resources management expert and consultant. He is a former Director General of the Department of Conservation and Secretary for the Ministry for the Environment. Previously he was head of the New Zealand Antarctic programme.

Widely experienced in all aspects of environmental issues including water, air, waste, land use, and especially biodiversity, he also has in-depth knowledge of the many communities, interests and organisations involved in natural resource management at national, regional and local levels.

Hugh was raised and educated in Canterbury and now lives on a horticultural property on the outskirts of Christchurch. His professional life and outdoor and recreational interests (especially climbing, skiing, fishing and mountain biking) mean he has a detailed knowledge of the province, from the high country and plains to the coast.

He is married with four children.

Jay Graybill (Geraldine)
Since arriving in New Zealand 28 years ago, American-born Jay, a fisheries scientist, has been actively involved in water issues in Canterbury. He has been Chief Executive of Central South Island Fish and Game for 19 years managing staff and council affairs under the Conservation Act 1987.

“My education and work experience has been in the area of freshwater production and ecology, specialising in the biology of salmon and trout, and applying those skills in regulatory, research and management settings.”

In addition, Jay says he has made many representations on topics including the plight of Canterbury’s waterways, Environment Canterbury’s planning processes, principles of sound water management and efficient water use.

“I take some pride in having managed the successful application for the Rangitata Water Conservation Order, which I believe has been a win-win for the community by providing economic benefit while protecting the Rangitata’s outstanding features.”

He is married with three children.

Hamish Cuthbert (Christchurch)
Hamish is a barrister and solicitor, who for the past six years has worked for Meridian Energy. He is experienced in the Resource Management Act and water policy.

He is a former chair of the Electricity Generators Water Working Group, a member of the Land and Water Forum, and has worked on the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development water management project.

He has experience in the electricity sector on water issues, as well as hydro and irrigation infrastructure consents and development.

A born and bred Cantabrian, he is a farmer’s son and was raised on farms near Fairlie and Banks Peninsula. He says he and his family live in Canterbury because of the quality of life.

“Improving that quality of life, in all of its dimensions, for all people, is how I see one of the key challenges for the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.”

Eugenie Sage (Lyttelton Harbour Basin)
Eugenie is a former Environment Canterbury regional councillor for Selwyn/Banks Peninsula.

She has a strong background in the protection of indigenous biodiversity, nature conservation and resource management, and worked for the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society for 13 years. She is an accredited RMA hearings commissioner and works as an environmental contractor.

She says she is keen to use the knowledge gained as a regional councillor and member of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy Steering Committee to ensure the Strategy helps safeguard braided rivers, promotes more efficient water use and significantly reduces the impacts of agricultural intensification on water quality.

John Donkers (Geraldine)

John owns and operates a business providing consultancy services to dairy farmers, and is a shareholder and director of the Camden Group of Companies, which owns a number of irrigated farms in Central Canterbury.

John is a founding director of Central Plains Water Limited, and has been involved in the development of the Central Plains Water scheme concept since its inception in 2000.

He is deputy chairman of Irrigation NZ Inc and has been active in the resurgence of the organisation over the last eight years. He was involved in the formation of the Dunsandel Groundwater Users’ Association which represents the groundwater irrigators in central Canterbury.

John believes the “road map” and processes that have been used to manage water are no longer appropriate.

“If we can get it right in Canterbury, I believe we can have it all – an enhanced and sustainable environment as well as a vibrant economy with water underpinning our wellbeing as a region.”

John lives in Geraldine with his fiancée, Nicky and young son, Tomas.

Hugh Canard (Christchurch)
Hugh came to Canterbury as a student and has stayed for 50 years. An experienced manager in a broad range of different businesses and across the local government and central government sectors, he has a love for all Canterbury’s waterways.

Engaged for the past seven years as a self-employed consultant, Hugh’s clients include NZ Trade and Enterprise, Development West Coast, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Ministry for the Environment. He is currently involved in bringing a network of visitor centres to the West Coast and project managing the West Coast major Regional Initiative in tourism.

Hugh is chair of Eco-tourism New Zealand, and is Head Judge for the New Zealand Tourism Awards. He is also a member of the Land and Water Forum and chairs the Rural Water Storage and Infrastructure group.

“I want to see water management deliver its economic potential in a sustainable and broadly supported development framework.”

Keen on kayaking and tramping, he says he has tramped, climbed and kayaked most Canterbury valleys, hills and rivers, and spends much of his leisure time outdoors.

He is married with two adult children.

Terry (Terence) Heiler (West Melton)
Terry has an active water resources consultancy trading as Heiler Consultants, a group which provides services to many irrigation companies in Canterbury as well as local and regional government, and as an advisor to central government.

He was formerly director of the New Zealand Agricultural Engineering Institute at Lincoln University, a director of Landcare Research for seven years, chairman of Lincoln International Ltd for eight years and chairman of Woolpro Ltd for seven years.

With qualifications in water resources, primary industry, corporate governance, soil and water research and considerable international experience, Terry was involved in the foundation of the Glenmark Irrigation Scheme, and instrumental in ensuring the irrigation industry committed to supporting the re-establishment of Irrigation NZ.

Terry believes the water future of Canterbury must be based on the adoption of non-adversarial and multiple objective processes allowing future challenges to be addressed with a large measure of community support.

He has lived with his family in Canterbury since 1967.