Climate change, public transport, fresh water are ECan’s biggest challenges

Opinion piece by Steve Lowndes, www.stuff.co.nz, Oct 14 2019.

Climate change, public transport, fresh water are ECan's biggest challenges

OPINION: The environment has emerged as the clear issue of our age, and Environment Canterbury has made its much-demanded return to democracy.

Based on the progress results, the new, 14-strong regional council has a 50/50 gender balance and more young faces. A blend of previous councillors – four regional and one city – and new councillors who bring zone committee and added scientific experience provide a very promising start. A Ngāi Tahu voice in Craig Pauling is also welcome and will hopefully help the council continue the strong and enduring relationship with mana whenua and confidence in our joint environmental stewardship.

It would not be unusual for new councillors to feel unnerved by their election and pressure to deliver. Their learning curve is steep. They may find some presumptions they have made are not as they thought, and that they must bring at least seven others with them to realise any personal ambitions. Collectively, the new council must continue to deliver progress and maintain the confidence and goodwill of Canterbury's 10 territorial authorities and rūnanga. A collaborative approach is vital.

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