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Published: 2014-02-28 00:00:00

Highly experienced resource management expert Bill Wasley has been appointed interim chair of the Collaborative Stakeholder Group (CSG) established to address water quality issues in the Waikato and Waipa rivers.

Mr Wasley is a director of Wasley Knell Consultants Limited in Tauranga, which specializes in resource management, project management, independent chairing, and hearing commissioner assignments.

He has 35 years experience in senior management roles in the public and private sectors. His current roles include being chair of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Strategy Advisory Committee, the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy Implementation Committee, and the Western Bay of Plenty SmartGrowth Committee. In the Waikato, he was previously independent chair of the Future Proof Implementation Committee.

The CSG is a core component of the Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora project, involving Waikato Regional Council, river iwi partners and Waikato River Authority. The group is made up of representatives from a wide range of interests, including farming and industry, Maori, local government, environmental and the general community.

The role of the CSG will be to, by November next year, recommend a plan change to the regional council and iwi to better protect the health of the rivers. This plan change will set targets and limits for land-based activities to help meet the water goals of the regional Vision and Strategy for the rivers and the National Policy Statement for Freshwater. Contaminants from both point sources (such as factories) and non-point discharges (such as farmland) will be considered by the CSG.

Mr Wasley’s initial role will be to guide the establishment of the CSG, the delivery of a CSG “problem statement” for the rivers, and the start of testing of policy options.

The council’s acting group manager policy and transport Tracey May said it was great to have someone of Mr Wasley’s calibre aboard. “The undertaking of collaborative approaches to consider and address significant environmental issues, involving multiple parties, is a great way of reaching solutions that have buy in and commitment from a range of sectors and groups.

“With his facilitation skills and extensive resource management experience, Bill will bring a lot of wisdom to the work of the CSG.”

Mr Wasley said he was pleased to have an opportunity to contribute to the CSG’s work.

“Providing an opportunity for a wide range of interests to have early and continuous engagement in the policy and plan making processes will assist in the shaping of proposals that have broad support. This will also help in the effective implementation of any plan change for the rivers.”

The CSG’s first meeting will be in March.