Joining the dots for better environmental outcomes.
It’s a simple plan and one that the new Mid Canterbury Catchment Collective (MCCC) is getting stuck into.
Angela Cushnie has been appointed as the MCCC co-ordinator thanks to $30,000 of funding allocated as part of the Ashburton Zone Committee action plan.
Cushnie, a member of the zone committee since 2017, is charged with ensuring the community is connected to enable positive environmental change, to join the dots on all the work happening across Mid Canterbury.
“It’s a mechanism of engagement,” she said.
“To bring science, ideas, and action together.”
Cushnie, who hails from the Hinds area, said that the water quality has become a concern for Mid Canterbury residents over the course of her lifetime and she is passionate about the community’s role to enable environmental change.
“MCCC sees these challenges as an opportunity, and my new role is all about supporting communities to create positive environmental changes in a way that is sustainable and inter-generational.”
It started as a conversation at a pub in 2018 between a small group from Hinds and soon gathered momentum and wider community interest, and then in December the MCCC formed a committee and became an incorporated society.
In March they received the seed funding from the Ashburton Water Zone Committee and Cushnie said now the real work begins.
“It’s early days, but it finally feels like we are making progress.”
One of the main objectives is to acknowledge and celebrate the good work already happening, she said, the innovative and adaptive solutions being implemented and how they can be applied on a wider scale.
The MCCC is the boots on the ground, “working behind the farm gate”, and the water zone committee is “the big table we can report into” and then feeding up to ECan.
Cushnie said it’s important from an ECan perspective they have the opportunity to engage.
“We can be that mechanism of engagement”.
The committee is now engaging with all the stakeholders to develop a strategy and go from there, she said.
MCCC is also awaiting news on a funding application to the MPI Essential Freshwater Fund.
- By Jonathan Leask