ENVIRONMENT LIVING HERE DECEMBER 2016
ENVIRONMENT LIVING HERE DECEMBER 2016
Celebrating our region
Young Wrybills can be spotted on the region’s braided rivers during nesting season.
Know our local birds and walkways
anterbury’s Wrybill. This little fella is the only bird in the world with a bill with a sideways bend for reaching under river stones to feed. This highly specialised native bird is at home in Canterbury’s braided rivers – and is on New Zealand’s threatened species list. Take care when out enjoying the rivers not to disturb them during nesting season (from now through to about February) as the adults may leave the nest and the chicks will perish.
ount Sunday wetland. Located in the Ashburton Lakes/Hakatere area, the Mount Sunday wetland is approximately 5.5 hectares and forms part of the Upper Rangitata Site of Special Wildlife Interest. You can walk up the ‘mount’ (actually a small hill) to see the wetland from above (as well as stunning views of the braided Rangitata River), or head cross-country to get up close. The wetland is home to many native birds and plants. Check out the Department of Conservation website (www.doc.govt.nz) for more information and location details. Lord of the Rings fans may recognise Mount Sunday as the film site for Edoras in the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
If you see a Wrybill on the river, move at least 200m up or down stream to avoid interfering with its nest site.
Mount Sunday wetland is located in the Ashburton Lakes/Hakatere area
30 mins one-way Many more walks can be found on the biodiversity section of www.ecan.govt.nz
ENVIRONMENT LIVING HERE DECEMBER 2016
Canterbury’s astonishing environment Canterbury has one of the most astonishing environments in New Zealand. We have the magnificant turquoise Lake Tekapo, the stunning Southern Alps, the widespread agricultural plains, and the beautiful coastline stretching from the north banks of the Waitaki up to Kekerengu, and everything in between. Environment Canterbury is the guardian of this incredible environment, with your support. Here is a little bit about what Environment Canterbury does. Environment Canterbury is one of 11 regional councils in New Zealand, governed at present by a mix of newlyelected and appointed Councillors. Although Environment Canterbury is empowered to set and enforce the rules around permitted activity with regard to the environment, the organisation is about much more than just the rule book. There are approximately 580 staff, located across Canterbury, each with a clear sense of responsibility for the future of this region’s great outdoors. This responsibility lies with all Cantabrians.
Internally we report on activity within seven broad portfolios: Canterbury Water Management Strategy; air; biodiversity & biosecurity; hazards, risks & safety; planning, consents & compliance; transport, Greater Christchurch rebuild & urban development; and regional leadership. Within these we
What is this? You may recall receiving a copy of ‘Living Here’ in your letter box a couple of months back. Living Here is a publication from Environment Canterbury to inform Cantabrians about the work of your regional council. We’ve had a rethink about what kind of information we are telling you via this publication. If you are like us, you are probably less interested in who is doing the work and more interested in what is being done, the state of the environment, how you can enjoy it now, and how we can collectively protect it for the future. Welcome back to ‘Living Here’, a new look publication about our region. Please send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
Environment Canterbury doesn’t light the fires on a winter’s night in the region’s homes, and we don’t farm the land – the progress that is being made around air pollution and the impact of farming on Canterbury’s land and water, for example, is down to the actions of the individuals who have committed to doing their bit for the greater good. Some have responded to the call to action and some have responded to the rule book – but either way, the action is theirs not ours.
cover some lesser-known things, like the Harbourmaster’s Office and navigation safety, the regional parks, coastal erosion and the buses, and the more obvious like water quality, irrigation consents, pests, flood protection, and air pollution. What we do under each of our portfolios is outlined in the Long-Term Plan (LTP), which goes out for community consultation every three years (a rolling plan that looks 10 years out at each iteration). From this we produce an Annual Plan for each financial year (dictated by what has been agreed with the community through the LTP). Planning and consultation is something we do a lot of to ensure you have the opportunity to have a say. You can read
the regional plans at www.ecan.govt.nz. Environment Canterbury is here to take the community’s vision and turn it into plans and actions, to help create the Canterbury we all want to live in.
ENVIRONMENT LIVING HERE DECEMBER 2016
By day the colour of Lake Tekapo is something not to missed. The milky, turquoise colour is due to a fine rock flour, ground by glacial movement and suspended in the waters. Takapō is the correct Ngāi Tahu name for the lake and also a kāinga nohoanga (settlement) situated on the lake’s edge. Along with the adjoining lakes of Takamana (Lake Alexandrina) and Whakarukumoana (Lake McGregor), the wider Takapō area was an important part of the extensive food gathering area of Te Manahuna (Mackenzie Basin) that was tribally renowned for tuna (eels) and weka.
The image here and overleaf shows Lake Tekapo, the region’s largest lake. The lake water quality is monitored by Environment Canterbury and reported on the Land, Air, Water Aoteraroa (www.lawa.org.nz) website. To find out more about how you can enjoy this Canterbury icon, check out ‘tekaporegionalpark’ on Facebook.
Good stuff: water
hile most of us love milk and we can all enjoy the economic benefits that a strong export market for our produce brings to the region, the thorny issue of Canterbury’s dairy industry (and in particular the impact on our waterways) often raises its head in the media. Not just when the cows are physically standing in Canterbury’s waterways, but also when farmers are using irrigation to grow grass to feed our pasture-based dairy production, and when the conversation turns to nitrates leaching through the soil and into rivers and streams. So what is the story here? In this issue we’ll take a quick look at irrigation: all farmers who are taking water must comply with the relevant permitted activity rules or be authorised by a resource consent from Environment Canterbury. All consented ‘takes’ over 10 litres/second must have a water measuring device (meter, datalogger and/or a telemetry system). This applies to over 5,000 takes on farms across the region (approximately 63% of the total consented irrigated area (ha) in New Zealand can be found in Canterbury). We are pleased to say that all of these farms have complied with this requirement to measure, bar a small number who we are working with on their agreed action plan. The consents outline how much water the farm is allowed to use – and the water measuring devices enable them, and Environment Canterbury, to know how much they are using. Industry bodies are working with farms in Canterbury to have Farm Environment Plans in place, which outline how they will work with the environment to ensure it is protected for future generations.
The Canterbury Water Management Strategy – or CWMS for short - outlines the overall approach and the delivery models adopted for the sustainable management and development of the region’s water resources. It has been developed by the region’s Mayoral Forum with the input of many stakeholders, including members of the public.
It’s complicated The whole water-use issue is complicated. Hear from Environment Canterbury’s Chief Scientist Tim Davie as he explains: www.ecan.govt.nz/itscomplicated.
What’s on in the region Right across Canterbury there are local events that shouldn’t be missed. For example, for the very best of local produce you can head to your local farmers’ market. Perhaps the largest we have is the exceptional Saturday Christchurch Farmers’ Market held in the grounds of the historic Riccarton House. What better way to spend Christmas Eve than stocking up on fine foods, wines and other goods – while enjoying kids’ crafts, giveaways and Christmas specials from 9.00am-1.00pm. Take the No.130 bus to right outside the gate or the Yellow Line to Riccarton Road. www.christchurchfarmersmarket.co.nz. To promote a local market or event, please contact email@example.com.
Meet the locals
Canterbury is home to around 600,000* locals – and that’s just the people. While the majority live in Greater Christchurch, the population is spread over 44,500 km2, from the mountains to the sea. One thing we all have in common is our collective responsibility for Canterbury. *Statistics NZ June 2016 estimate.
Christine Callingham lives in Fernside and is a teacher at St Joseph’s school in Rangiora. Christine is seen here with pupils Daniel Boyce and Rebecca O’Mahony at the recent Tūhaitara Park Open Day. Christine’s students have established their own ‘biota node’ (a small freshwater pond with native plants to attract birds and native wildlife) and visit regularly to maintain it, with the aim of re-introducing mudfish. Christine set up the Enviroschool at St Joseph’s eight years ago with the help of Year 6 students. Today St Joseph’s encourages Year 4-6 students to apply to be inspiring enviroleaders at the school. To find out more about Enviroschools visit www.enviroschools.org.nz.
Lil Thomson is a sheep farmer from near Amberley. Lil farms Murray Downs, a 650ha property, with her mother Sarah. One of Lil’s passions for the property is ensuring the environmental impact of their activities is minimised – and the farm’s environment plan is kept up-to-date and relevant – so the land can be sustainable for generations to come. Lil is seen here with Environment Canterbury Biosecurity Officer, Lance Smith. Above: Shannon Boorer lives in Christchurch and is Environment Canterbury’s Strategy, Operations and Marketing Manager in the Public Transport team. Seen here on a Te Ara Kakariki plantout in September, Shannon is helping establish the 3000 plants that 160 volunteers planted across three restoration sites. There are many public planting opportunities in Canterbury and if you’d like to get involved contact Customer Services on (03) 353 9007. Top: All ages are welcome at volunteer plantings.
Connect with us
Send us your best shot Canterbury’s diverse environment lends itself to some great photographs. Send your best shot to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact details and photo caption and be in to win a Fitbit Alta Fitness Wristband. We’ll feature the best images on our Facebook page and potentially use your image for the next issue of Living Here. Full t&c’s are on www.ecan.govt.nz/photocomp.
Fitbit Alta Fitness Wristband
Join the conversation with Environment Canterbury. Follow activity, post comments or contact our Customer Services team. ecan.govt.nz. 0800 EC INFO or 0800 324 636
Kia Kaha Canterbury
Canterbury communities have been amazing with their support for those impacted by the November 14 earthquake. Environment Canterbury would like to thank all the people who came from across the region and country to support the Civil Defence efforts.