Waikato Regional Council is calling for landowners who want a voice in its flood protection programmes in the Lower Waikato and Waihou-Piako zones and land drainage programmes in the Waikato and Thames Valley catchments.
In November 2019, the council decided not to re-establish eight catchment committees and four drainage subcommittees due to costs.
But councillor Stu Husband, chair of the River and Catchment Management Committee, recognised the need for advisory subcommittees in the areas of the Waikato where there are significant assets.
Two advisory subcommittees will be set up to meet on matters relevant to the council’s flood protection programmes in the Lower Waikato and Waihou-Piako zones, and drainage advisory subcommittees will be established in each of the Waikato and Thames Valley catchments.
Stu says it became clear that in areas where landowners paid a significant amount of money through targeted rates for land drainage or flood protection, they needed the opportunity to be able to provide advice, support and feedback to the council’s operations.
“It became clear that we did need some sort of formal process in place, but one that’s not going to come at a big cost,” says Stu.
Therefore, to curtail meeting costs, subcommittee members will not be compensated. The subcommittees will comprise Waikato regional councillors, iwi, landowner, territorial authority and key stakeholder/landowner appointees, and they will advise the council’s River and Catchment Management Committee.
Appointments will be made every three years to coincide with the council triennial elections.
The council is now looking for enthusiastic people who:
- Have good relevant community networks to share flood protection/land drainage advisory subcommittee discussions and relate the outcomes of the River and Catchment Management Committee.
- Have relevant experience, such as being on a board or member of a community group involved in environmental work.
- Are wanting to contribute in a positive way to the work the council does in its communities.
- Are regional ratepayers within, or having a responsibility for, the geographical area represented by the advisory group.
- Will be willing to accept membership as a volunteer without compensation.
- Are able to meet three times per calendar year to attend subcommittee meetings.
Applications close at 4pm on August 7. For more information and to apply, visit: www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/advisory-subcommittees