Conservation board seeks members

By Laurel Stowell, laurel.stowell@wanganuichronicle.co.nz


The Taranaki/Whanganui Conservation Board is growing and looking for six new members.

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson announced this week that the board would grow from eight members to 10.

She said the additions would increase its current knowledge, experience and skill base. It had significant work ahead, developing the Tongariro Whanganui Taranaki Conservation Management Strategy and the review of the Egmont National Park Management Plan.

Some of the vacancies are because the three-year terms of several board members have ended. Also, chairman Darryn Ratana has resigned to take on contract work for the Conservation Department. The board is advertising six vacancies. The Taranaki and Whanganui River Maori trust boards will each appoint an additional person, and one former board member, Anne-Marie Broughton, is staying in place.

That would add up to a nine-member board. The Chronicle has been unable to determine where the tenth would come from.

The new Tongariro Whanganui Taranaki (TWT) Conservancy has existed for two years, and the Taranaki/Whanganui board oversees planning in its southern and western end.

The other end has a Tongariro/Taupo board, also of 10 people and with five vacancies.

The boards each meet quarterly, and have a combined meeting once a year. Their chairpeople also attend each other's meetings.

The two-board arrangement was working well for the large conservancy so far, TWT community support manager Mark Davies said.

"We're still learning about the new conservancy and how best to connect to communities of interest that the boards represent. We would only change if it wasn't delivering on the outcomes we want."

The large number of vacancies were an opportunity for keen conservationists to step up, he said.

Nominations close on January 25, and appointments begin from July 1 and last three years. Information and nomination forms can be found at www.conservationboards.org.nz.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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