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Source: Environment Canterbury Regional Council

Our latest quarterly report has been published and highlights the progress we have made on our work programmes.

Our quarterly reports are presented to Councillors and then published every three months for the community.

They report on the work we have done to contribute to the priorities and levels of service set out in our Long-Term Plan, as well as highlighting the risks and issues for the portfolios.

Chair Jenny Hughey says that despite the resurgence of COVID-19 in the community, which has influenced some of our services and delivery of work programmes, we have made great progress on several key pieces of work.

Key achievements

Ngāi Tahu Bill

“This last quarter (October-December 2021) saw us promote a law change that will provide mana whenua representation by empowering Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to appoint up to two members of our council with full decision-making powers.

The Ngāi Tahu Bill was introduced to Parliament in November, and we were proud to see that it passed its first reading in December.”

Reviewing our plans

We continued to work on creating an integrated regulatory framework in partnership with Papatipu Rūnanga to better manage environmental issues in the region.

This framework will take a ki uta ki tai (mountains to sea) approach and will see us review the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement, Canterbury Regional Coastal Environment Plan and Canterbury Lands and Water Regional Plan.

“We have held initial hui with Papatipu Rūnanga on this and will be taking our time to have further conversations in the months ahead so we can make sure we get this right,” Chair Hughey says.

Flood recovery

Despite other more recent periods of heavy rain, we have continued to make good progress recovering from the May/June 2021 extreme flooding event.

Our initial focus was on providing flood protection through temporary repairs, which are now largely complete. We have started work on permanent repairs to stopbanks.

Chair Hughey advised that although re-establishing vegetation will go some way to protecting our communities from future flood events, a number of rivers in Waitaha will remain vulnerable for a few years to come.

“Especially as the uncertainty of climate change and its impacts become known,” Chair Hughey says.

Draft Annual Plan | Mahere ā Tau 2022/23

Finally, Council spent considerable time preparing the draft Annual Plan 2022/23 in preparation for consultation this last quarter.

Our next quarterly report will cover the period from January-March 31, 2022.