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Christchurch City Council Media Release 30 May 2002

The Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust – ‘A New Deal’ for the Estuary -

A community trust calling itself the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust will be launched at a public forum on 18 June 2002.

The Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust is asking people to join it and become involved in groups that will work to educate, promote and research what the trust calls one of Canterbury’s outstanding water bodies.

Twelve passionate Christchurch people – and Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury staff - have spent the last nine months developing the concept for the trust, which will lobby for a better future for the estuary.

The trust’s vision is to achieve “clean water, healthy ecosystems, open space and safe recreation on the estuary through communities working together”.

Environment Canterbury Councillor Valerie Campbell, who has been with the group since its inception last August, says the development of the trust is an exciting step forward.

“A lot of recent attention has been focused on the Bromley outfall affecting the estuary. The trust wants to focus on the many other factors affecting the health of the estuary and will work towards improving awareness of why we need to protect it.”

Christchurch City Councillor Chrissie Williams, who also sits on the group, says the trust will pursue a vision of “integrated environmental management”.

“The trust intends to involve all parties responsible for the estuary’s future to encourage them to work together. We won’t make progress cleaning up the estuary, unless we have everyone participating. This includes industry, residents and recreationalists – as well as the City Council, Environment Canterbury and other agencies such as the Department of Conservation.”

Fifteen board members for the trust will be suggested for public approval at the forum. They include members of the working party and several high profile Cantabrians, who have also been approached.

Councillor Campbell says while the trust will ask for members on the night, it also wants public approval from the forum for its vision and objectives.

“This is a chance to really move the future of the estuary forward. We want people to come to the forum, to listen and endorse the trust’s direction and to take an active role in raising the profile of the estuary,” says Councillor Williams.

Registrations for the forum for catering purposes are essential. Please contact Anna Page at Environment Canterbury on ph (03) 365 3828, extn 7266, email or David Newey at the Christchurch City Council on ph (03) 941 8810, or email before June 11.

For more information: Please contact, Councillor Valerie Campbell, Environment Canterbury, Ph (03) 981 7496 or Councillor Chrissie Williams, Christchurch City Council, Ph (03) 388 0798.                                

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