Support for trust as forum ends

A trust and working party will be set up with the aim of developing the Omarama and Mackenzie Basins collaboratively.

More than 40 people supported setting up a trust, at a two-day meeting she had called in Twizel, Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said.

The proposal to set up the Mackenzie Sustainable Futures Trust had come under criticism from some local people. The Waitaki and Mackenzie District councils, who govern the two areas, had been lukewarm.

Mackenzie Mayor Claire Barlow attended both days. Waitaki deputy mayor Jim Hopkins attended Friday's session.

Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton said his council's next step would depend on the contents of Mr Hopkins' report and decisions yet to be made by the Mackenzie District Council.

On Tuesday the Waitaki District Council tentatively agreed Mr Familton could be one of the trustees, but said it depended on the Mackenzie District Council's decision. The Waitaki council also decided any future involvement would depend on the trust's terms of reference, aims and direction.

A two-tier structure for the trust is proposed. It will comprise the trust and the working party. The trust will seek funding for the collaborative process, manage and account for those funds, contract a chairman agreed to by participants, use consultants as needed and resolve disputes.

The working party will do the main work. The party will be made up of participating organisations and is hoped to number no more than 20. The working party will represent the various communities of interest.

Application will now be made to the environment minister for funding to further develop the trust, and the working party, which Mrs Dean will not be on, will continue the process.

Mrs Dean will continue as a trustee, with other trustees to be appointed.


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