Nature and locals to guide the way we manage our natural resources
GWRC believes people who live in each catchment have the greatest appreciation of the value of the water in their area, and an understanding of the issues facing waterways.
That is why catchment committees are being set up to provide a local perspective on how we manage our environment. Called whaitua, the new entities focus on land use and the waterways that drain into the sea in each of the five big catchments in the Wellington region.
The Porirua Whaitua Committee will be the second of these committees to be set up, after the Ruamähanga Whaitua committee was set up in Wairarapa at the end of last year. The new committee will be made up of people from the Porirua community, local Iwi, Porirua and Wellington city councils, GWRC and Te Upoko Taio – the regional council’s natural resource committee.
“We know we need to modify what we do on land in order to improve and protect our natural water and we believe that local people will know best how to do this,” says Te Upoko Taio chairman Chris Laidlaw.
“This is revolutionary in a way because we are moving beyond a merely regulatory approach. Whaitua committees provide a channel to enable local people to have a say on what type of water quality and land use patterns they want in their area and then to find local level solutions.”
A call for applications from the community will be made in September.