Ruamahanga Whaitua Committee keen to share the journey
The community-led committee charting the future of land and water management in the Ruamahanga catchment met last week. The Ruamahanga Whaitua Committee discussed ways to ensure that the community’s values, experiences and hopes for better environmental management are at the heart of a new plan for the region.
Opening up the decision-making process on natural resource management to community representatives is a first for the Greater Wellington region and for local government in New Zealand.
“We know that cleaning up our waterways can only happen with direct community input to the decision-making process, we must find genuine consensus around the best ways to achieve this shared objective,” said Ruamahanga Whaitua Committee member and GWRC Cllr Chris Laidlaw.
“The whaitua committee gathers together a range of people with diverse perspectives, but we all share the same focus – finding sensible local solutions to ensure water quality in the Ruamahanga catchment does the job that local people want it to do now and in the future.
“There’s a very impressive range of skills and wisdom in this group and I am looking forward to, not just the final outcome, but being part of the journey with this committee and all of the Ruamahanga River community.”
Over time the Wairararpa community has told GWRC that they want clean water for drinking and swimming. They want their property protected from flooding and enough water to ensure economic prosperity for this community.
Wairarapa people have told the council that they value our rivers, lakes and streams from an historical and cultural perspective. Many residents want to know that the places they feel are special will be there for them to enjoy now and for future generations.
The committee will bring together information from work being undertaken by other groups, committees and consultations that are ongoing in the region.