Spotlight on ECan seats

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by Greta Yeoman

In 2016, Peter Scott ran for Environment Canterbury’s sole South Canterbury seat and was elected unopposed.

Now, as the regional council prepares for its first fully-democratically-elected membership in almost a decade, there are six candidates standing for the council’s two South Canterbury seats.

Mr Scott, a mixed-crop farmer based near Pleasant Point, is running for a second term on the council, going up against former Waimate mayor Peter McIlraith, and Waitaki-based North Otago Federated Farmers dairy section chairman Jared Ross.

Also in the running are two members of the Orari-Temuka-Opihi-Pareora zone committee – Pareora-based engineer Dr Phil Driver, who has a background in water management and nitrates, and OTOP zone committee deputy chairman Herstall Ulrich, who is a sheep, beef and dairy farmer near Albury and also a former Silver Fern Farms board member.

The sixth and final candidate is scientist Dr Elizabeth McKenzie, who has recently relocated from Auckland to Fairlie, and has a background in a variety of science topics, including a Masters on the biogeochemistry of hot springs and a PhD on clandestine meth labs.

Of the current seven elected ECan representatives, Christchurch’s Lan Pham and Rod Culliane, Mid-Canterbury member John Sunckell, North Canterbury’s Claire McKay and South Canterbury’s Peter Scott are standing again.

Steve Lowndes, of Christchurch, who chaired the council, has stood down, as has Christchurch-based ecologist Dr Cynthia Roberts.

Three of the commissioners appointed by the then-National Government in 2010 are standing down – South Canterbury-based Tom Lambie, David Caygill and Peter Skelton, as well as Ngai Tahu-appointed representative Elizabeth Cunningham, who was appointed by the iwi to council in 2016.

However, her fellow Ngai Tahu representative Iaen Cranwell is set to run for one of two seats in the Christchurch North-East constituency.

In total, there are 39 candidates standing for the 14-seat council.