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Our next meeting is 2-5pm, next Friday 08 June, at the DOC offices, Ngai Mahi Rd Sockburn.
In the last couple of weeks, Environment Canterbury have held several community meetings in North Canterbury in relation to water, birds, and braided riverbeds. As media interest has spiked these past weeks, several people have called or emailed asking me what’s going on. The water situation goes back much further than a few weeks and is too complex to delve into here, but if you’re keen to know more, see the ECan website (links to the exact page); the next Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee meeting is 18 June, and agendas for past meetings are here. If you are interested only in the issues surrounding the Hurunui Water Project, this newspaper article on ‘water wars’ is a well written insight. Minimum flow regimes were brought in by ECan five years ago as a long-term requirement under the Hurunui and Waiau River Regional Plan (HWRRP); this is brief news article on Forest & Bird’s legal challenge into the issue of the Amuri Irrigation Company.
One day, the entire story will make a fascinating book…if anyone can ever untangle the details.
The other ECan meetings have been about birds and braided riverbeds:
The Hurunui Waiau Zone Committee has allocated $300,000 to the Hurunui Waiau Braided River project to:
(a) create a series of islands to support (failing) colonies of black-fronted terns and black billed gulls. This follows the successes of similar island creation projects on the Clarence and lower Waitaki Rivers, and;
(b) manage the numbers of southern black-backed gulls (SBBG) in the area.
Two meetings were held last week in Culverden and Cheviot to outline the broad plan. The management of SBBG is part of a larger discussion, and ECan have contracted Wildlife Management International Ltd (WMIL) to develop a Canterbury Southern Black-backed Gull Strategy. As part of developing this strategy, several stakeholder meetings will be held to provide background context and, most importantly, to listen to people’s views. The meetings will be held at:
If you are interested in attending, please contact Donna Lill :027-460-2885, or email@example.com so that they can provide you with further information prior to the meeting. More background information is also available here.
How can we determine the extent of the ‘river bed’ in braided rivers in order to manage for the multiple values in braided river beds and their margins, in particular through RMA regulation? It’s not as simple as it might first appear, as I’ve explained here. If you are invited to one of these ECan-led meetings over the coming months (the next is Monday 25 June at the Waihao River), I urge you to attend. Figuring out the answers is not going to be easy, but it’s crucial if we’re going to have ‘braided’ rivers in the coming decades.
Check our Facebook page regularly, as events posted there often expire within days.
Membership Renewal is due at the AGM September each year. If you are not already a member of BRaid, you can join as a General, Casual, or Representative member. General Membership is a modest $20/annum, giving you voting rights and the opportunity to have a say in BRaid’s activities.
Thanks to those who have contributed to this newsletter. Please keep news items coming. If they are time-sensitive, I’ll put them on Facebook.
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