Waitaki Water Oversight Group
Fraser McKenzie, Ex-Officio Member
Fraser’s passion is anything rural. Having graduated from Lincoln College with a Bachelor of Agricultural Commerce majoring in Valuation and Farm Management, backed up with a Bachelor of Commerce from Canterbury University, he has been working as a farm accountant since 1986.
He is a director of McKenzie & Co. Ltd, Chartered Accountants and The Family Farm Consulting Company Ltd, a registered member of the NZIPM and is currently the Independent Chairman of Waitaki Irrigators Collective Ltd.
Fraser believes that the Waitaki River and associated catchments are central to our community and that they deliver economic, social and cultural well-being to a wide and diverse range of stakeholders. Fraser sees the Waitaki Water initiative providing a vehicle to ensure that well-being is both protected and enhanced, by facilitating projects identified by the community and delivered using a disciplined, structured and inclusive stakeholder friendly process.
Rhys Hamilton, Chair
Rhys, together with his wife Emily and their four children, are dairy farmers in the Awamoko catchment of the Waitaki River.
Rhys completed a Bachelor of Agriculture at Lincoln before converting a 550ha property to dairy and dairy support in Omakau, Central Otago. The sale of this property allowed for a move back to Brookstead Ltd in the Waitaki valley where they currently milk 1000 cows on 300ha.
Rhys sees value in having a collaborative approach to water management through the involvement of all interested parties. Rhys sees the role of Waitaki Water as bringing together those people who value the water in the Waitaki Valley and appreciate its importance to the wider community, and as building relationships whilst improving water outcomes of all kinds.
Aside from chairing Waitaki Water, is also currently a member of the NOSLaM Steering Committee.
Jen Fellowes, Project Administrator
Jen and her husband Craig together with their two children, moved from South Africa to New Zealand in 2014. They currently reside on a dairy farm, near the township of Windsor. Jen holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, but has predominantly been involved in accounting and administrative roles within the agricultural sector.
Jen is also the administrator for the Waitaki Irrigators Collective and provides secretarial and administrative support to the Maerewhenua District Water Resource Company and the Waitaki Independent Irrigators Incorporated.
Jen’s interests include trail running, mountain biking, swimming and hiking.
Elsa du Toit, Part Time Administrator
Elsa graduated from the University of Pretoria in South Africa with a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Botany and Zoology and obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration from said University. Elsa also has a PhD in Energy and Sustainability from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Elsa and her husband Ferdie became NZ citizens in December 2020 and reside in Oamaru Central. Before accepting the role at WIC she worked at the Waitomo District Council as the Regulatory and Environmental Services Leader and at Network Waitaki as a Project Manager.
Elsa currently works part time as the Health, Safety, Wellbeing and Environment Facilitator for a Dairy Farming Cooperative with 5 dairy sheds and a runoff block. She thoroughly enjoys the work on farm and assists the sharemilkers with Farm Environment Plans, applying for funding for riparian planting, water quality monitoring and the daily recording of all the different aspects of dairy farming.
Elsa provides assistance to WIC one day per week in general administration, research, mapping and ecological and water quality reporting.
Elsa’s interests include singing, dancing, birding and trying to be environmentally friendly.