Environment Southland chairman Nicol Horrell and Te Ao Marama Inc. chairperson Don Mowat are pleased to announce the 17 members appointed to the Regional Forum.
Chairman Horrell says a robust process was used to select the members of the Regional Forum. “We were very lucky to have 60 people willing to contribute to ensuring Southland continues to thrive into the future. Following an initial shortlisting process and workshop, the selection panel had the very tough job of choosing the right mix of people to ensure the diversity of the group reflects our region.”
A selection panel included Environment Southland chairman Nicol Horrell, Councillors Lyndal Ludlow and Jeremy McPhail and Te Ao Marama Inc. chairperson Don Mowat and Board member Gail Thompson.
Chairperson Mowat says the selection panel considered everything from the candidate’s contribution to the community, their interests in land and water, as well as their skills and experience. “We were then able to observe these individuals coming together to work on some complex, real life scenarios, giving us a chance to observe how they work together as a team. I think we have the right mix, and I’m sure they are all up for the challenge ahead.”
The 17 individuals who now make up the forum include six people aged 25–44; 10 aged 45–64 and one person over 65; three tangata whenua; nine women and eight men; three people from Invercargill and two from Bluff; two people from the Gore area; three from the Riverton area and people from Te Anau, Winton, Wyndham, Tuatapere, Otautau and Mossburn. Occupations included dairy, sheep, beef and deer farmers, environmental education and management, industry, tourism and consultants. Community, professional and other interests are many and varied, reflecting the diversity and quality of the applicants selected.
Over the next few years, the forum will meet regularly to work through the aspirations, values and objectives the Southland community hold for our water and land.
The forum members are straight into their work, with the first workshop being held at Te Rau Aroha Marae in Bluff on 4 and 5 April. Applicants who did not make the final group are being encouraged to remain involved and aware of the project, and opportunities to share their skills and knowledge are being provided.