New faces for conservation board
Conservation Minister Nick Smith has confirmed his appointments and reappointments for the Southland Conservation Board.
There are several new faces on the board but plenty of collective knowledge remains with the reappointments of several experienced members.
Former conservation board chairs and long serving members Viv Shaw and Robin McNeill have not been reappointed after serving their maximum terms.
However, new chairwoman Helen McPhail, has served under both Shaw and McNeill and experienced conservation campaigner John Whitehead remains on board.
The board's biggest task in the immediate future would be finalising the draft Southland Murihiku Conservation Management Strategy (CMS), McPhail said.
The CMS was the Southland public's way of having their say about how natural and historic resources were managed.
McPhail said she was looking forward to chairing the board as it looked to work with the Department of Conservation.
Despite a lot of changes within DOC, it was business as usual for the Southland Conservation Board, McPhail said.
Fresh blood and youth around the conservation table comes in the form of Year 13 Fiordland College pupil Nicholas Humphries.
The 17-year-old, may be one of the youngest people to be appointed to the board, but he said he was looking forward to the role.
"I wanted to be able to make a difference and an impact at a regional level," Humphries said.
Conservation was an important part of the Te Anau teenager's life.
He has a leadership role in the Kids Restore the Kepler programme and a wide involvement in other environmental activities.
His conservation work won him recognition at the 2013 Southland Environment Awards. In 2012, he was chosen to join a group of 30 secondary school pupils from around New Zealand to visit the Kermadec Islands in as part of the Young Blake Expedition.
Humphries said he hoped more young people would get involved with conservation.
"Our generation is going to be affected the most by the decisions made today so I don't see why we shouldn't be part of conservation discussions," he said. Stewart Bull and Gail Thompson remain on the board as Ngai Tahu's representatives.
SOUTHLAND CONSERVATION BOARD
Helen McPhail, Queenstown
Fiona Black, Te Anau
Stewart Bull, Riverton
John Whitehead, Te Anau
Andrew Bowmar, Gore
Alison Broad, Invercargill
Lloyd Esler QSM, Invercargill
Nick Humphries, Te Anau
Peter Jones, Gore
John Twidle, Te Anau
Source: The New Zealand Gazette
The Southland Times