Help manage Porirua’s natural resources
Porirua is moving to a new way of managing land and water resources with the setup of Te Awarua o Porirua Whaitua (catchment) Committee.
Greater Wellington Regional Council will soon be asking for people with a passion for their environment to step up and support or become a member of the group.
The Whaitua committee will lead a community discussion around the value of water and will ultimately recommend to the regional council a set of environmental standards for the catchment.
These standards, together with a set of non-regulatory actions to achieve them, will form a separate chapter on the Porirua catchment for inclusion in the Regional Plan, which is the natural resource blueprint for the region.
The committee will focus on environmental, mana whenua, economic and community knowledge, and technical information back and will have access to the substantial scientific knowledge of the regional council.
“Whaitua Committees are the way forward as they allow locals to have a say on the water quality and land use patterns they want in their area and to find solutions to issues that affect their environment,” says Cr Chris Laidlaw who is co-chair of the council’s natural resource committee, Te Upoko Taiao.
The new committee will comprise seven or eight people from the Porirua community and five representatives from Te Upoko Taiao, local iwi and Porirua and Wellington City councils.
The Te Awarua o Porirua Whaitua Committee is the second of five such committees, with the Ruamāhanga Whaitua Committee set up in Wairarapa last year. Council Chair Fran Wilde says the new committees are leading-edge examples of participatory democracy, enabling local people to have “skin in the game” on environmental issues.
Te Awarua o Porirua Whaitua Committee applications are open from 11 September to 31 October
Attend our information day on 11 September at 6pm at the Pataka Art + Museum, 17 Parumoana Street, Porirua
Check out this video that explains the Whaitua committees: