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12-month review results in committee structure change

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Two committees have been merged into one to provide more integrated oversight of catchment management in the Waikato region.

The change - to disestablish the community restoration and river and catchment management committees, replacing them with an integrated catchment management committee - was approved at today’s council meeting.

The ground-breaking committee structure approved last November by the new council challenged the status quo with new committees, including one with a specific focus on climate change and another on regional connections.

It was agreed at the time that the effectiveness of all the discretionary committees should be reviewed after 12 months.

As part of the review councillors were recently asked to complete a short survey. There was a general consensus that, overall, the committee structure does work well, said Waikato Regional Council chair Russ Rimmington.

"But a common theme emerged around crossover of the role and function of the community restoration committee and the river and catchment management committee," he said.

"We’ve tried a different way of doing things this year, but it hasn’t worked as well as we thought it might."

Cr Rimmington said councillors wanted a structure that was cost-efficient and effective. "This work accounts for around one-third of our core business and is vital to our economy and environmental prosperity. Bringing it under one umbrella will provide improved oversight and efficiencies," he said.

The new committee will be chaired by councillors Stuart Husband (north) and Stu Kneebone (south). Its membership comprises councillors Fred Lichtwark, Andrew MacPherson, Kathy White, Pamela Storey and Tipa Mahuta.

The terms of reference for the committee are due to be confirmed in the new year and will capture the work of both committees.

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