ORC Welcomes Community-led Involvement in Setting Water Policies (via ORC Public Notice)

On 7th March 2019, ORC issued a Public Notice advising that “Water is a top priority for the Otago Regional Council (ORC), our iwi partners and our communities” and that “increasingly our waterways face multiple demands for recreation, water supply, irrigation and for ecosystem health.”


The notice goes on to explain that “the Government’s National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM) recognises that the management of freshwater needs to be done at a more local level that reflects Te Mana o te Wai (the integrated and holistic wellbeing of the water) and local catchment values and needs.”


ORC sees this move towards community value and objective setting for waterways as positive.  A Water Plan review by ORC, aims to align how water is managed in Otago with the NPSFM.


Read more at https://orc.govt.nz/news-and-events/news-and-media-releases/2019/march/orc-welcomes-community-led-involvement-in-setting-water-policies


IrrigationNZ Welcomes New Chief Executive (via IrrigationNZ)

IrrigationNZ issued a media release on 19th December 2018, advising of Elizabeth Soal’s appointment as their new Chief Executive.


In the release, Nicky Hyslop, IrrigationNZ (INZ) Board Chair, explains that “IrrigationNZ has recently adopted a new strategy which focuses on creating an environment for the responsible use of water for food production.  As part of the strategy we will be focusing on advocacy, encouraging innovation through sharing ideas and adopting new technology, developing a robust information base, bringing the irrigation sector, researchers and decision makers together to make better decisions for our future and creating world-leading irrigation standards.”


Nicky believes that Elizabeth has a “strong background in water management, law and policy and she will help contribute to all these goals but that she is particularly well qualified to contribute to national discussions” as INZ “seeks to achieve solutions to complex issues around water allocation which results in good outcomes for both communities and the environment.”


Read more at https://www.irrigationnz.co.nz/News/Story?Action=View&Story_id=86

Waitaki Irrigators Collective Leader Takes up New Role

It was with sadness coloured by a large dose of pride that Waitaki Irrigators Collective (WIC) recently announced the resignation of their Director of Strategy and Policy, Elizabeth Soal, to take up the role of Chief Executive Irrigation NZ.


“Although we are disappointed to lose such a talented person”, explained WIC Chair Fraser McKenzie, “we are very pleased that Elizabeth is staying within the irrigation community and will continue to live in North Otago.  She has made an enormous contribution to the success of WIC during her tenure and her performance has been endorsed by her selection for this new role at a national level.”


Elizabeth joined WIC in February 2011 and under her direction steered the organisation through several major achievements including the successful conclusion to the Waitaki Catchment Water Allocation Plan under Plan Change 3; and the negotiation of a Waitaki River flow regime management plan with Meridian and irrigators.


WIC represents an innovative way for irrigators, both individual and scheme members, to work together for the express purpose of furthering positive outcomes for the Waitaki River in a collaborative, proactive and cohesive way.  For example, WIC aims to facilitate the delivery of projects that will improve water-related outcomes across areas such as biodiversity, water quality and cultural values through its newly formed off-shoot organisation, Waitaki Water.


WIC is governed by a Board of Directors, with each shareholder represented by one Director and independent directors appointed as deemed appropriate, including current independent Chair Fraser McKenzie.


The board regularly reviews the performance of the collective to ensure the shareholders receive clear benefits from their membership and will use the resignation of Elizabeth as an opportunity to ensure the strategy and organisation remains ‘fit for purpose’.  In the interim Robyn Wells, current Chief Executive of North Otago Irrigation Company, is assisting in an Acting Director of Strategy and Policy role.


For further information, please contact:

Robyn Wells, Acting Director of Strategy and Policy, Waitaki Irrigators Collective Limited

027 603 0661

Fraser McKenzie, Chair, Waitaki Irrigators Collective Limited

027 228 5636