Resource management conference success

The recognition of Willie Wright’s long-time dedication to the protection of the Kaipara Harbour was one of several highlights at the New Zealand Association of Resource Management’s 66th conference.

Held recently in Waitangi, the three-day conference was themed around ‘Change at pace and scale’, including some of the looming big changes to the way climate change and freshwater are managed.

Willie, who is of Te Uri o Hau, was one of three Northlanders recognised during the conference, and says he was honoured to receive the award.

“The acknowledgement of the mahi being undertaken around the Kaipara Harbour and within her catchment is testimony to the tremendous work and dedication by many to improve water quality and biodiversity,” says Willie.

“Restoring the harbour’s health requires all of us to stand together and take action to make a difference now.”

Duncan Kervell and Willie Wright.Award winner Willie Wright (right) with Northland Regional Council Land Programme Manager Duncan Kervell.

For his outstanding contribution to catchment and community, Willie received a Taonga carved by Korotangi Kapa Kingi. Fittingly, the Taonga is made from swamp kauri that has come from the Kaipara.

Landowner Geoff Cookson was also recognised at the conference, for his family’s work to combine strong financial returns and sustainable management practices on their bull beef finishing and forestry property at Kawakawa.

Northland Regional Council Land Programme Manager Duncan Kervell also received an award, for his outstanding contribution to resource management in New Zealand.

The conference brought together around 180 delegates from across New Zealand, mainly working in land management, and earned high praise from attendees says Duncan.

“As our council was the lead organiser for this year’s conference, we were really thrilled to get amazing feedback from those that came,” says Duncan.

“Likewise, it was great to have the opportunity to showcase our unique region and the opportunities and challenges we have ahead in Northland managing our land and water for future generations.”