Interest in forming water care group

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There was a lot of interest in forming a Waikaka water care advocacy and action group at a meeting last week.

Convener Hugh Gardyne said he was pleased with the amount of interest evident and engagement at the meeting, attended by about 20 people.

“It was a good meeting with good attendance.”

A committee of about 10 people had been formed, Mr Gardyne said.

“It’s a committee with a diversity of backgrounds.”

Environment Southland councillor Jeremy McPhail chaired the meeting and Environment Southland staff members Gary Morgan and Karl Erikson spoke.

Mr Erikson said at the moment water testing had only been carried out on Waikaka Stream at Gore.

“The water would have to be tested over a long period of time to find a trend,” Mr Erikson said.

Mr Morgan said there were a lot of other water care groups in the area that the Waikaka group could learn from.

“You can learn from the mistakes and success of other groups.”

Involving the whole community, especially the schools, in the project was important, he said.

“The enviroschools programme is perfect for this kind of thing.”

The water care groups were about farmers taking ownership of the water quality issues, Mr Morgan said.

“Today is about a showing of solidarity and a selecting of objectives.”