Community leaders from throughout the Mackenzie Basin have been invited to attend a community forum in Twizel on Friday March 1 to learn how the five agencies with statutory responsibilities in the region have become more aligned in protecting the iconic landscape.

The five agencies are the Mackenzie District Council, the Waitaki District Council, the Department of Conservation, Land Information New Zealand and Environment Canterbury. Each has responsibility for managing land use, the landscape, water quality and quantity, vegetation clearance, biosecurity and biodiversity.

They formed the Mackenzie Basin Agency Alignment Programme in 2017, in response to the Mackenzie Basin – Opportunities for Agency Alignment report, completed by Dr Hugh Logan and John Hutchings. After presenting the report to the Mackenzie community a year ago, the chief executives of each agency made a joint commitment to return to the community with an update on progress in one year’s time.

Nadeine Dommisse, Chair of the five-agency Steering Committee for the Alignment Programme, said the programme is about staff from the agencies working together in a way that’s never been done before to support Mackenzie Basin environmental and community outcomes.

“The five agencies are looking closely at key initiatives in the Mackenzie Basin including the rules supporting environmental outcomes to ensure we are working together in a joined-up, whole of government way. We are finding many ways of working closely together for the benefit of the community.”

Ms Dommisse said the alignment of the five government agencies introduced common oversight through shared information over consent applications and consent compliance, shared mapping and pest control (including rabbits and wilding conifers), and shared biodiversity programmes involving planting along rivers and in wetlands to encourage indigenous wildlife.

“We look forward to sharing some of the detail of that work with the local community on March 1,” she said.

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