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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:41am

Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton and other Canterbury mayors have reconfirmed their support for working together on looking after the region’s water resources.

In a refresh of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS), members of the Canterbury Mayoral Forum have confirmed their support for the strategy. The forum also adopted new goals to improve and manage water in Canterbury and charged Environment Canterbury to work with Councils and partners to find solutions for those goals.

The CWMS was first adopted in 2009. The refreshed strategy has an additional 131 goals for 2025 and 2030, along with an extensive plan of proposed actions across the province. This work prioritises the results the community has asked for and taking into account emerging issues such as climate change.

Mayor Broughton says the CWMS is an outstanding example to the rest of the country of a united, regional approach to managing water.

Under the CWMS, 10 local zone committees with council, community and rūnunga members provide recommendations to Environment Canterbury on how to best address issues at a local level. These can result in local rules in the form of plan changes that control certain activities in order to deliver the results the community requires.

The Selwyn Waihora zone committee has been a driving force behind several key projects, Mayor Broughton says.

“The whole province working together is helping us to make a significant difference in improving water systems in Canterbury and protecting them for the future. We have seen some big projects in Selwyn to support our district, but it’s important to work together on such an important and precious resource as water.

“Our zone committee is working closely with Environment Canterbury on the ‘Swimmable Selwyn at Coes Ford project’, and the Whakaroa Te Ahuriri project to create a wetland that will reduce the nutrients and sediment going in Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and improve biodiversity and mahinga kai values.”

The committee has completed the Haldon Pastures mudfish protection policy, clearing willow and weeds, providing new plantings and a solar powered barrier and water delivery system to protect the habitat from drought and predators.

The $2.5 million Selwyn Near River Recharge project is underway and aims to keep the lower Hororata, Selwyn/Waikirikiri and Irwell rivers from running dry; support mahinga kai and biodiversity and improve downstream water quality.