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Regional Water Advisory Panel

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has established the Regional Water Advisory Panel to advise on regional issues which the Bay faces in implementing the Government’s National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

The Panel, made up of key stakeholders representing Māori, environmental, economic development, energy, forestry, agricultural and tourism interests, contribute their expertise to the way our region’s freshwater is managed.


Al Fleming - Forest and Bird
Alan Fleming is Central North Island Regional Manager of The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand. He is Chair of the Biodiversity Focus Group, a member of the Bay of Plenty Freshwater Focus Group (both groups associated with the interagency Kaimai Catchments project), and Environment / NGO representative on the Healthy Rivers Project.

Andrew Curtis - Irrigation New Zealand
Andrew Curtis is Chief Executive of Irrigation New Zealand, the industry body for irrigators and their service industries. Moving to New Zealand from England in 2001, he worked in the Hawke’s Bay horticultural industry before taking a land management role with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, encouraging uptake of best practice for irrigation and cropping.

Anthony Olsen - Bay of Connections
Anthony Olsen is Chief Executive of Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust. He has more than 15 years’ experience in business and community development, focusing on environmental protection and development. He is a member of the Bay of Plenty Regional Economic Development Partnership, Co-Chair of the Māori Economic Development Advisory Group, and former Chair of the East Coast Bay of Plenty Conservation Board.

Bella Tait - Department of Conservation
Bella Tait has a background in local government policy and project management. She is experienced in building and developing relationships with iwi, Māori land trusts, industry and community regarding improved or alternative land use, enhancing water quality and protecting native freshwater fish species. Her work at the Department of Conservation involves exploring sustainable tourism opportunities with Māori landowners, community, business and Treaty partners.

Chris Keenan - Horticulture NZ
Chris Keenan is Natural Resources and Environment Manager at Horticulture NZ, providing strategic oversight in developing a response to water quality and quantity issues. He manages development of best practice in freshwater management, is involved in the Land and Water Forum and is a member of the Government-led National Objectives Framework Reference Group and regional panels. Chris works closely with Ross Bawden, a local kiwifruit grower who attends as an observer.

Eben Herbert - Fish and Game
Eben Herbert is a Rotorua Resource Management/Habitats Officer at Eastern Fish and Game Council. He represents the interests of anglers and hunters in statutory planning processes, and advocates for the Council. He is also involved in wetland habitat management and enhancement, and game bird population monitoring programmes.

Kit Richards - PF Olsen
Kit Richards is the Environment Manager for PF Olsen, a fellow of the NZ Institute of Forestry, and was NZ Forester of the Year in 2008. His work includes environmental management, systems development and implementation, forest ecology, integrated management and commercial forest management. He has represented forestry interests on the Rotorua Lakes targeted rating committee, Nitrogen Trading Study Group, and Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Land Use Futures Committee.

Linda Conning - Consultant
Linda Conning is an environmental consultant specialising in planning with experience of regional water planning in both Northland and the Bay of Plenty. She is also a partner in an Eastern Bay of Plenty orchard. Linda is a member of the Rangitāiki-Tarawera Rivers Liaison Group, a Member of the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust and a Distinguished Life Member of Forest and Bird.

Oliver Parsons - Dairy NZ
Oliver Parsons is a Senior Policy Advisor with DairyNZ’s policy and advocacy team, focusing primarily on freshwater issues. He is currently involved in University of Waikato research using experimental economics to test freshwater policy scenarios, and developing better frameworks for cooperation in common-pool resource management.

Philip Millichamp - Wood processing representative
Philip Millichamp is National Environmental Manager at Carter Holt Harvey Pulp and Paper, responsible for environment, sustainability and external relationships across the business. He previously worked for the Ministry for the Environment, managing a climate change policy team. He has experience across the private sector, Central Government, local government and Crown research sectors.

Rick Powdrell - Federated Farmers
Rick Powdrell is the Federated Farmers National Meat & Fibre Chair, Board member and Bay of Plenty Provincial President. He is also the Te Puke Veterinary Service Chairman, and farms within the Kaituna Catchment. He has worked with the Regional Council on environmental works on his property, concentrating on water and soil protection, native area protection and controlling runoff.