15 December 2016

At the last Community Liaison Group meeting for the year held on Tuesday 13 December, a new person (but a familiar face around Whakatāne) was elected to the position of Chair. John Pullar was nominated and has accepted the role of Chair of the Kopeopeo Canal Community Liaison Group.

The previous Chair, Bill Clark, was elected to the Regional Council in October and in light of that election, Mr Clark tendered his resignation.

At the time, the Group was clear that they wanted someone from outside either of the councils [the consenting authorities – Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Whakatāne District Council] but they thanked the Chair for his significant service over the past 18 months to get the Project to this point.

The Community Liaison Group welcomed Mr Pullar to the role at a crucial time as the Project moves into the delivery phase in 2017.

“I am very pleased to be a part of this Project and help to ensure the community voice is heard as we work together to clean up the Canal. From discussions I have had over the past few weeks, it is apparent that the Group has had a significant role to date and is a key factor in the success so far. I look forward to continuing that tradition.

“I bring to a role a strong background in representing community voices and uniting differing views and achieving positive outcomes,” Mr Pullar said. 

The change in Chair happens at a time that marks a significant change in work for the Project. The Project Team will shortly be able to announce a contractor to complete the physical works on the Canal. At that point, the CLG will continue to provide a link between the project team and the community, but with a very real focus on the day to day dredging works.

“We have some big milestones ahead and it is an exciting time for the CLG and the regular members of the public that join us. I look forward to seeing some significant results in 2017,” Mr Pullar said.