Nominations have opened today for positions on the region’s catchment and drainage subcommittees, giving members of the public a chance to directly inform Waikato Regional Council decisions on issues such as catchment management, flood control and biosecurity.
“These appointees are an essential link between the council and community and play an important part in providing advice that helps us tailor our work to meet local needs,” said council chair, Alan Livingston.
He said the council was looking for enthusiastic and well-connected community members, with relevant interest and experience.
“This is an opportunity for people wanting to make a positive contribution to their catchment to get involved. Recommendations received from these committees are reported to and considered by councillors,” Cr Livingston said.
Nominations close on Friday, 11 May. For more information visit waikatoregion.govt.nz.
An evaluation panel will consider the nominations and make recommendations on committee membership to the council in June.
The council spends $62 million of dollars each year on work to improve the health of the region’s catchments, protect people from flooding and erosion, and combat plant and animal pests. It’s also responsible for maintaining 2067km of drains in the Waikato.
The region is divided into eight management zones each with its own catchment committee comprising Waikato regional councillors, iwi representatives, key agencies and community appointees.
Members of the four drainage subcommittees are the link between drainage ratepayers and the regional council. They oversee the work programmes for the council’s land drainage service in their relevant areas and make sure local needs and interests are taken into consideration. The landowner appointees serve in an advisory capacity on the subcommittees.
Meetings are held three to four times a year, and usually there is one field inspection to look at specific work being undertaken in the zone. At the meetings members consider issues related to flood protection, river management and catchment works, biosecurity and biodiversity work and programmes in their catchment, and advise the council on how those issues could be addressed.
Each of the four drainage advisory subcommittees – Aka Aka Otaua, Franklin Waikato, Waikato Central, and Thames Valley – comprise landowner appointees and Waikato regional councillors who ensure there is detailed community input into the land drainage programmes for each area.