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Unconfirmed MINUTES



Upper Waitaki Zone Water Management Committee Meeting


16 February 2024




Upper Waitaki Zone Water Management Committee Meeting Minutes                                                                                                      16 February 2024

Upper Waitaki Zone Water Management Committee Meeting
Mount Cook Salmon, 4 Benmore Place, Twizel
Friday, 16 February 2024 AT 10.00am


PRESENT:                    Chairperson Matthew Bayliss, Deputy Adriana Theobald, Richard Subtil, Marcelo Carena, Rynee de Garnham, Cr Scott Aronsen, Cr Nick Ward

IN ATTENDANCE:      Murray Griffin (facilitator), Justin McLachlan, Jess Hishon Knowles, Peter Burt, Lara Welsh, Kate Doran (all Ecan staff), Douglas (Mount Cook Salmon),  Katrina Te Rito, Scott McMillan, Rebecca MacIntyre (Farmer), John Benn (DOC), Rick Ramsay (Mount Cook Salmon), Diane Finn (DOC), Arlene Goss (Mackenzie District Council).

1               Opening

Rynee de Garnham opened the meeting with a karakia. The chairman asked everyone to introduce themselves. He thanked Mount Cook Alpine Salmon and their team for hosting the meeting.

2               Apologies

Apologies were received from member Michael McMillan and Cr Lisa Small (Waimate DC).

3               Declarations Of Interest 

The chairman amended his interests as follows:

Delete the reference to my chairing the Upper Waitaki ‘Power Up’ Fund for Meridian, I have relinquished this role. Also, my role with Meridian Energy has changed, my job title is now “Head of Generation Strategy”. The other two items, my shareholding and consent remain the same.

Member Adriana Theobald declared a new role as senior ranger with the Department of Conservation.

4               Reports

4.1           Minutes of Upper Waitaki Zone Water Management Committee Meeting - 10 November 2023

Committee Recommendation  

Moved:       Cr Nick Ward

Seconded:  Mr Richard Subtil

1.        That the Minutes of the Upper Waitaki Zone Water Management Committee Meeting held on Friday 10 November 2023 be received and confirmed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.



4.2           Call for items of general business

The following matters are to be discussed at the end of the meeting:

·       The future of the ongoing lake weed control programme, requested by John Benn (DOC).

·       Date for the hangi, requested by Richard Subtil.

·       Study of the groundwater around Twizel, requested by Cr Aronsen.



4.3           Ahuriri Catchment Farmer Engagement - Review and Next Steps

This agenda item provided the Zone Committee with the opportunity to discuss the Ahuriri catchment Farmer’s meeting, hosted by the committee on Thursday 26 October in Omarama.

Facilitator Murray Griffin said a letter has gone to the farmers with key items from the meeting and plans for the coming year. He noted the key action points from his report.

The chairman asked members to confirm the dates and the three action points. Cr Ward talked about catchment groups at Ashburton who have bought their own water testing equipment and were testing every two weeks. This cost them about $10,000. He also recommended an independent facilitator.

Richard Subtil said his small catchment group were doing a lot of water testing and passing this information to Ecan, but it was not being used. They all wanted more testing but didn’t want to repeat what was already being done.

Peter Burt thanked the committee and the chairman for the opportunity to get all the farmers together and talk about the issues. The chairman said this needed to be repeated in March.

Cr Ward suggested the second week in March. Richard Subtil will speak to the Ahuriri Community Catchment Collective chairperson for agreement on the date.

It was agreed that the chairman, Cr Ward, Richard Subtil, Jess Hishon-Knowles, Murray Griffin,

and Shirley Hayward from the Ecan science team, would get together to plan the next session with the farmers.

Mr Subtil would like a review of what water testing data was available and where  the gaps were.



4.4           Ecan Zone Delivery Update

This update by Peter Burt (Zone Delivery Lead, Ecan) and Jess Hishon-Knowles (Senior Land Management & Biodiversity Advisor, Ecan) provided the Upper Waitaki water zone committee with an update on the current priorities of the Ecan Zone Delivery team in the Mackenzie Basin/Te Manahuna.

Mr Burt took the committee through his written report and answered questions.



4.5           Omarama and Twizel Demonstration Plots Project Update

This update was provided via Teams by Felicity McMillan, Manager of Arowhenua Native Nursery, Te Kete Tipuranga o Huirapa Ltd.  She provided an update on the Arowhenua Native Nursery and sought the committee’s guidance on establishing demonstration plots in Omarama and Twizel.

Cr Scott Aronsen has worked with Mackenzie District Council to get permission for the Twizel plot.

Rynee de Garnham and Justin McLachlan offered to work with Waitaki District Council to get permission to plant on the Omarama site.



4.6           Love Our Lakes Campaign - Interim Update

This agenda item was from Kate Doran, principal communications and engagement advisor. She  spoke to the committee and updated them on the project to establish a Facebook page. She has  found someone local to do this work and the communications budget has been used to set up the page and get it started. She asked for some more money from the action plan budget to use the contractor for another five months. This would cost $1,415.

Discussion took place on reservations that the committee members expressed at the last meeting regarding spending action plan money on social media. These reservations have been addressed.

Members were asked for their views and were favourable. The need for the administrators and zone committee members to share posts was noted. This was experimental. Where would it go at the end of five months? The expectation was that committee members would be involved in running the page in the long term.

Kate Doran noted that the $1415 in the agenda report was to pay for ongoing support of the Facebook page, not the set up cost. The chairman noted that the Love Our Lakes posters were working, as he had noticed that lakeside areas were tidier this year.

Committee Resolution  UPP/2024/108

Moved:       Deputy Adriana Theobald

Seconded:  Mr Richard Subtil

2.        That the Upper Waitaki water zone committee agrees to the use of $1,415 from the CWMS Action Plan Budget 2023/24 for the resourcing of the training, and then four months of management, for a Love Our Lakes Facebook page for the remainder of this summer’s campaign.




4.7           Mount Cook Alpine Salmon Update

This update was provided by Rick Ramsay, Environmental Manager at Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Ltd.  He presented an overview of the organisation’s environmental management programme, with a particular focus on its relationship to freshwater management and the monitoring undertaken.

Mr Ramsay was thanked for this presentation and the chairman noted that aquaculture was a big industry and very well run.



4.8           CWMS Facilitator's Report

Facilitator Murray Griffin went through the main points in his report. He proposed that the March meeting should include a workshop on the zone committee review.

The grant application from the Church of the Good Shepherd would go through. A second grant application from Paul Geaney for money to plant on council land would be followed up. Mr Griffin would like this funding to go to the district council rather than individuals who did not own the land. The committee was unaware if consent had been given by the three land owners involved in that area. This would be followed up by Mr Griffin.

A request had been received from a community group working in the Lindis Pass area concerned about weed growth. Mr Griffin suggested coming to the March meeting with more information to talk about whether the committee wanted to support this.

Richard Subtil said a farmer-run goose culling event was organised and they killed about 1600 geese across three different areas. This was well organised and was done safely. Mr Subtil noted there were just as many black swans now as geese. He hoped the committee would support these efforts in the future. The chairman suggested they put in a funding application next time. This was a big success story for the farming community.

Mr Griffin said applications for grants in this financial year needed to arrive in the next few months to be considered.

Hangi – Mr Griffin suggested holding this in May. Details to be decided at the March meeting.



4.9           General Business

Cr Scott Aronsen said he studies water bore logs. He is concerned about Twizel water flowing off the Benmore range.

He was concerned about plans for 1500 new sections in Twizel. Some of those people would want to put water bores down. This would affect groundwater that runs under Manuka Terrace and comes out near the Black Stilt ponds. He suggested more in depth study of the bores, to take into account future needs.

Cr Aronsen suggested putting some grant money into a fund for a PhD or Masters student to study this water situation. He said if this was not looked at there would be problems in 20 years when some people had access to water and other’s didn’t.

Discussion took place on whether this was the responsibility of the zone committee. Cr Aronsen believed it was because he felt the committee should know as much about water under the ground as water above the ground.

Education of the public on how to store and use water was needed. The chairman said Ecan was already doing some work on studying bores. Maybe that information should come to the committee.

Rick Ramsay suggested it would be better to pull together the information that was already there.

Justin McLachlan said this was an opportunity to work on the information already held. He was confident that he could bring something back to the committee.


The chairman declared an interest and said he would stand aside from this discussion because he had a bore.

John Benn asked why sections of the Twizel River had gone dry. Had anything changed? Peter Burt said from what he knew there were no illegal water takes, and it was due to a dry season.

The chairman thanked Cr Aronsen for putting up the Love our Lakes signs. They were very visible and in good locations.

It was noted that the Waitaki District Council representative on the committee, Cr Coles, has not attended for over a year. The chairman would come up with a plan and get in touch with WDC to resolve this.


The Meeting closed at 1.02pm.