General Comments

AWA commends anyone who has put themselves forward as a candidate for the Regional Council.

Healthy, functioning democracies rely on the active participation of the citizenry, beyond merely ticking a box at election time. Standing for elected office is a key mode of participation in this process.

AWA does not of course agree with the positions taken by all of the candidates, but we are committed to engaging with them respectfully, openly and forcefully.

We start from the position that all candidates are committed to improving ecological outcomes and safeguarding community rights to water, but that they may differ in their emphasis or approach. That of course will have much to do with the constituencies they hope to represent. Giving all candidates the ability to present themselves and their views to our members is a part of a necessary process of engagement and understanding.

Our kaupapa aligns with wider community expectations around restoring our rivers and waterways, enhancing biodiversity and reducing the risk of nitrate intrusion into drinking water supplies.

However, we also align strongly with the principle of community sovereignty and with community rights to protect their drinking water supply from the threat of water mining and unnecessary chemical treatment. These particular concerns to some extent inform our comments.

We have chosen not to rank candidates or even to allocate a ‘mark’ to them. In AWA’s view that could be superficial and unfair. Instead we have provided comments and information on particular candidates where we have personal knowledge of them, or to provide some more depth.

We urge our supporters to carry out their own research, and to engage with candidates in their particular ward directly if they would like to know the candidate, or to understand their position, a little better.

We welcome all reasoned (and not derogatory) comment and debate.

Greg Byrnes

While his views on water mining are unfortunate and lack a global or holistic awareness, in other respects he appears the most qualified candidate in this ward to advance environmental interests. Once challenged National Minister for the Environment Nick Smith to a duel, which shows some capacity for adventurous thinking.

John Faulkner

Dairy farmer and current chair of Hurunui Water Zone Committee, which was recently found to have breached conflict of interest rules.

Bill Dowle

Not known.

Garry Jackson

Was mayor of Hurunui during the period of the sacking of the elected Regional Council (pushed by the Canterbury Mayoral Forum) the intensification of agriculture and the driving forward of large-scale dairy irrigation projects.

Non Respondents

  • Grant Edge – Not known.
  • Claire McKay – Current Regional Councillor. Advocate for farming interests.

Jenny Hughey

Well regarded by people who have dealt with her. Has supported AWA’s campaign.

Roy Knight

Successful background in business and Fish and Game and presents as being able to work collaboratively and effectively with a range of people. Supports AWA’s campaign.

Non Respondents

  • Tane Apanui – Advocate for innovative transport solutions based on use of existing rail lines.
  • Iaean Cranwell – Existing Regional Councillor. One of few Councillors who voted in favour of significant reduction in allowable nitrate levels.

Aaron Campbell

AWA member and has been involved in our campaign from the outset. Clear thinker across a range of issues, and has shown plenty of fight at City Council Community Board level.

Craig Pauling

Well respected for successful environmental regeneration work with waterways, including working collaboratively with farming community. Strong understanding of land/soil/water connection and brings important awareness of Māori perspectives.

Chrys Horn

Many years of experience and a great deal of credibility in supporting resilient, healthy communities. Well regarded.

Drucilla Denise Kingi-Patterson

Not known.

Non Respondents

  • Rod Cullinane – Existing Councillor. Elected to advance environmental interests but appears to have largely supported the status quo.
  • Megan Hands – Not known.

Paul McMahon

Well-connected and worthwhile policy positions.

Felicity Price

Not known. Comments supportive of AWA and action on water issues, however running on Independent Citizens (National Party aligned) ticket.

Nicole Marshall

Positive comments received and worthwhile ideas on water issues, including measuring sustainability of water takes.

Lan Pham

Present elected Councillor, has been something of a lone voice within Ecan on water issues including advocating for much lower nitrate levels, enhancement of ecology of river and waterway systems and biodiversity protection. Given her leadership on these issues AWA has been disappointed by her lack of support for AWA’s campaign and ambivalence about water bottling.

Axel Wilke

Experienced transport planner with extensive knowledge and innovative ideas for developing public transport and reducing urban sprawl. Solid environmental credentials.

Non Respondents

  • Alan Chow – Not known.
  • Evan Harris – Not known.

Phil Clearwater

City Councillor who is standing down from Council and standing for Ecan because he believes our need for environmental action and transport transformation is urgent. AWA found him supportive and straightforward to deal with when issue of Council funding of AWA’s legal costs for Belfast campaign came up. Would be a useful conduit between Christchurch City and Ecan.

Rik Tindall

Former Ecan Councillor until Council was sacked by former National Government. Strong community advocate, but there were some concerns about his ability to work with others to achieve outcomes.

James Macbeth Dann

Aligns generally with AWA’s position in terms of policies expressed. Some concerns expressed about ability to work in a group however.

Vicky Southworth

Clearly knowledgeable on water issues including important urban water quality issues.

Non Respondents

  • Hamish Keown – Some positive comments received.
  • Lincoln Platt – Not known. Independent Citizens (National Party aligned) candidate.

Sarah Walters

Not able to provide comment.

Non Respondents

  • Ian Mackenzie – Not recommended based on comments received.
  • Allen Lim – Not known.
  • John Sunckell – Existing Ecan Councillor, otherwise not known.

Phil Driver

Appears to be an advocate for serious climate change response.

Peter McIlraith

Somewhat scary views on local (farming) communities being able to set their own Rules.

Elizabeth McKenzie

Policies strongly align with AWA’s. Strong background in science lends credibility.

Non Respondents

  • Jared Ross – Not known.
  • Peter Scott – Existing Ecan Deputy Chair. Pleasant enough to deal with.
  • Herstall Ullrich – Advocate for farming interests.