19 December 2023

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana is seeking applications from rivers and drainage scheme ratepayers to join its Rivers Scheme Advisory Groups.

There are four Advisory Groups to represent the four major rivers and one drainage scheme in the region (rohe): Kaituna Catchment Control Scheme, Rangitaiki-Tarawera Rivers Scheme, Rangitāiki Drainage Scheme, Whakatāne-Tauranga Rivers Scheme and Waioeka-Otara Rivers Scheme.

Established in 2017, these community-based advisory groups are designed to connect Regional Council with those communities that benefit from the work that Regional Council delivers to maintain and improve the rivers and drainage schemes.

General Manager Integrated Catchments Chris Ingle says, “Advisory Group members provide a critical link between the community, and Regional Council rivers and drainage staff and councillors, as well as involving councillors and staff from local territorial authorities, and tangata whenua.”

Successful applications will be appointed to their Rivers Scheme Advisory Group for a (minimum) three-year term, with meetings held twice a year (March and September).

Mr Ingle says, “The Advisory Group meetings are an opportunity for members to ask questions of the council team, provide feedback on behalf of the community and share insights into what the community is thinking and feeling.”

There are six positions available within each Advisory Group, with an urban / rural split based on rate take for the area – for example, the Waioeka-Otara Rivers Scheme Advisory Group has higher representation of rural members as it has more rural ratepayers in the scheme.

Mr Ingle says Regional Council wants to hear from applicants who are passionate about where they live, who want to form or further a relationship with their local council staff and councillors, and who bring a wealth of local knowledge to the table.

“These Advisory Groups are created for community. If you, or someone you know, would be a suitable applicant, we encourage you to put yourself forward.

“We’d also like to acknowledge those who have given their time to be representatives for their area over the past six years, and thank them for their support and commitment to open and constructive dialogue with our councillors and staff. Existing advisory group members are also eligible to re-apply”.

Applications are open now through to Tuesday 30 January. All applications will be considered by representative councillors before successful appointments are made in February 2024.

For more information, and to apply online, visit the website: www.boprc.govt.nz/river-schemes or pick up an application form from your local Regional Council office.

ENDS