Learning about the water resources in and around Waimate has been “homework” for new community water zone committee members over the summer.
Daniel Isbister and Barney Hoskins were recently appointed as community members to the Lower Waitaki South Coastal Canterbury Water Zone Committee, which aims to help protect and improve the area’s fresh water.
Existing members Kate White (chairwoman) and Brent Packman were reappointed to the committee and Cr Jakki Guildford will become the Waimate District Council representative.
Over summer, the new members have been learning more about the key environmental and cultural issues in the catchment – including participating in a two-day orientation field trip – ahead of their first public committee meeting, which was held yesterday.
Last week, the new members – along with three new colleagues from the neighbouring Orari Temuka Opihi Pareora (OTOP) committee, and local runanga representatives – visited key locations in South Canterbury and lower Waitaki. These included Wainono Lagoon, which is undergoing a water-quality restoration project and the Waihao Box, as well as locations further north such as the Opihi River mouth and Opuha Dam.
Daniel Isbister is a dairy farmer who lives on the banks of the Waitaki River, where for most of his life he has used the river for fishing, shooting, boating and swimming, as well as for irrigation.
He is a keen fly-fisher and has been a Central South Island Fish & Game councillor for three terms.
Following some extensive travel abroad, Barney Hoskins has returned to the region to take advantage of the outdoor lifestyle while working in leadership roles at the local polytechnic and more recently the South Canterbury District Health Board.
Mr Hoskins has a background in construction and teaching and is actively involved in a range of recreational activities including hiking, fishing, kayaking and swimming in local waterways.
The zone committee refresh process replaces or reappoints community members whose three-year term has been completed.
Canterbury has 10 water zone committees and one regional committee, which were established in 2010 and 2011 respectively. The committees are joint committees of local councils and Environment Canterbury. All committees include community members and runanga representation.
The new members of the neighbouring OTOP Water Zone Committee are Glen Smith, Phil Driver and Herstall Ulrich.