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Freshwater Advisory Group

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Freshwater Advisory Group

The development of a freshwater plan will be of interest to a range of stakeholders. We received support for establishing a Fresh Water Advisory Group to guide us through the policy process.   The group first met in December 2010 and continues to regularly meet. The purpose of the group is to provide:

  • for a collaborative approach to the development of a freshwater plan
  • a forum for discussion on freshwater management issues
  • for information sharing between group members, their respective organisations and the community.

The group represents a balance of freshwater interests including abstractors/water users; farming interests; iwi representatives; government departments; recreational and environmental users; and council staff.  While the group has a purely advisory capacity, it has the endorsement of council's environmental planning and regulations committee.

Fresh Water Advisory Group meeting notes

Notes from the latest meeting

11 March 2015 [PDF, 183 KB]
Agenda items: project managers update, Managed Aquifer Recharge trial update, Waipaoa catchment model, stormwater and sediment quality in urban environments. 

Members of the Fresh Water Advisory Group

The Fresh Water Advisory Group

Back L-R - Jamie Foxley, Chris Keenan, Alan Horanga, Stewart Davis
Middle L-R - Manawa Waipara, Eben Herbert, Roger Haisman, Peter Jex-Blake, Murray Palmer, Lester Pohatu, Bill Ruru
Front L-R - Rebecca Lander, Stan Pardoe, Pat Seymour, Sally Gaddum, Tui Warmenhoven, Bridget Scully
Absent - Dave Hawea, Amber Dunn, Owen Lloyd, Keith Katipa, Trevor Helson

Meet the members

Allan Haronga - Wi Pere Trust, Mangatu Inc

Allan is a representative for the iwi Te Aitanga a Mahaki and the Maori Authority land interests in the Mahaki rohe of the Gisborne region. Allan has a background in business and accountancy.  Email Allan at

Amber Dunn - Ngati Porou

Amber is a Ngati Porou representative practicing as an environmental advisor that covers fresh and coastal waters. Amber is a holistic or systems thinker and aims for our water planning to have environmental, social and economically sound policies and decisions. She is also an active water sports user. Email Amber at

Dave Hawea - Te Whanau-a-Kai

Dave is a representative for Te Whanau a Kai and is chair of the Te Whanau a Kai Trust. Dave has been a member of the FWAG since 2011. Email Dave at

Sally Gaddum - Federated Farmers

Sally is a representative for Federated Farmers. Sally has a background in sheep and beef farming and horticulture. Sally became a member of the FWAG in 2013. Email Sally at

Chris Keenan - Horticulture NZ

Chris has conjoint degrees from Lincoln University in science and resource management. He is a member of the “Small Group” of the Land and Water Forum and a foundation member of the Land and Water Partnership. Since 2008 Chris has led plan input on behalf of the horticulture industry in most regional jurisdictions, including the Horizons region, Canterbury and the Waikato where water allocation methods and the effects of rural land use on water quality have been debated.
Email Chris at

Eben Herbert - Eastern Fish and Game

Eben is the Fish and Game representative and is based in Rotorua. Fish and Game NZ represent the interests of anglers and hunters, and provide coordination of the management, enhancement, and maintenance of sports fish and game.
Email Eben at

Rebecca Lander - Department of Conservation

Rebecca is the Department of Conservation’s representative (Helen Neale and Chris Staite previously represented DOC). Rebecca recently moved to Gisborne from the Bay of Plenty and has a background in biodiversity conservation, including several years as a DOC Freshwater Technical Support Officer for the East Coast and Bay of Plenty.  Email Rebecca at

Jamie Foxley - Tairāwhiti Environment Centre

Jamie is a local farm vet and conservationist, keen on community-led projects and solutions to waterway management, interested in supporting freshwater fish and eel habitats. Jamie has been representing Tairāwhiti Environment Centre since 2011.
Email Jamie at

Bill Ruru - Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki

Bill has been a Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki trustee since it was established in 1988. Bill has been involved in the Seafood Industry for over 10 years and is one of the customary fisheries kaitiaki for the iwi. Annually, Bill negotiates the best return for the iwi from its fishing quota and he was elated when Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki became one of the first iwi in the country to receive its interim fisheries allocation. Education and training iwi are a priority for Bill, he is a registered Seafood Industry Training Organisation Assessor and has qualifications in aquaculture and customary fishing. Email Bill at

Keith Katipa - Te Whanau-a-Kai

Keith is a representative for Te Whanau-a-Kai with a strong interest in environmental kaupapa. Keith has been a member since 2011. Email Keith at

Lester Pohatu - Ngai Tāmanuhiri

Lester is the representative for Ngai Tāmanuhiri with a strong interest in environmental issues. Lester has been a member of the FWAG since its inception in 2010. Email Lester at

Owen Lloyd - Nga Ariki Kaiputahi

Owen has a strong interest in ensuring that the Mangatu and Waipaoa river catchment is repaired and made whole again. If we can achieve this the whole district will be the beneficiaries of such an audacious goal. We as a tribe are the guardians of the headwaters of both these rivers and see our responsibilities as kaitiaki a very serious responsibility.
Email Owen at

Murray Palmer - Wastewater Advisory Group

Murray has been a resident of Te Tairawhiti for almost 40 years. He represents the interests of the Gisborne Wastewater Technical Advisory Group on the FWAG. Murray's specialist background is in natural resource planning and management and freshwater ecology, and he has coordinated freshwater research, education and restoration initiatives for government, NGOs and hapu organisations in our region for the last 12 years. Email Murray at

Pat Seymour - Councillor

Pat is a farmer from Whangara and has chaired Council's Environmental Planning and Regulations committee for more than 10 years.  Pat's family has practised conservation plantings and erosion control on Wensleydale Station for 45 years.  Pat  is very passionate about conservation and prior to her time on Council she spent 6 years on the board of the QE2 National Trust. Pat is keen to see the district implement a fresh water plan and is pleased to be a part of the cooperative process that is developing the plan. Now after more than 2 years of meetings and gathering science to support decisions, the plan is beginning to take shape. Pat appreciates that more science will be necessary to give credibility to further decisions. Email Pat at

Peter Jex-Blake - Federated Farmers

Peter is the Gisborne/Wairoa president of Federated Farmers.  Peter has lived in Gisborne most of his life and has farmed here for 33 years. In representing members of Federated Farmers, he supports any initiative to preserve the quality of our fresh water, according to the values established by the community. It is equally important to recognise that agriculture is the lifeblood of the local economy, and that standards for water quality are not set at such a level which hinder agricultural production. Email Peter at

Stan Pardoe - Rongowhakaata

Stan has been involved with Rongowhakaata issues since 1967 and was chair of Rongowhakaata Trust to 2011. Stan has farmed for over 30 years, and is chair of Pohaturoa Farm Trust and Pakarae A Incorp, and on the committee of Tapere Incorporation. Stan's past interests have included serving on boards of other farming incorporations and fishing entities including Moana Pacific and Te Ohu Kaimoana. Stan lodged the Treaty of Waitangi Claim for Rongowhakaata in1989 and was the leading negotiator with the Crown to the Deed of Settlement and chair of the Rongowhakaata Settlement Trust. Email Stan at

Stuart Davis – Poverty Bay Water Users Group

Stuart is employed by Leaderbrand Produce and represents water users on the FWAG.  Stuart is interested in ensuring reliable access and efficient use of water for the economic benefit of the region with minimal disruption to water quality and environmental values. Email Stuart at

Trevor Helson - Eastland Wood Council

Trevor has a background in civil and structural engineering working on large hydro schemes. From time spent living in Singapore, where water is such an important commodity, Trevor understands how it is at the very essence of our community. He believes that we must look after it and ensure it is protected, used wisely and sustainably for the benefit of everyone. Email Trevor at

Manawa Waipara – Rongowhakaata Trust

Manawa has worked in the secondary and tertiary education sectors in various locations. Manawa returned to Gisborne to work for Rongowhakaata Claims and remains in education. He has served on a range of community groups including a councillor for Kaiapoi Borough, sports clubs and cultural groups. Manawa is keen to be a link between whanau, hapu and adhoc groups and administrative bodies. Email Manawa at

Tui Warmenhoven - Ngati Porou

Tui is a trained lawyer with an employment background in government, educational and tribal organisations. Tui has practised as a solicitor and worked as a policy analyst, researcher, tutor and bi-cultural advisor. Her field of interest of expertise is models for sustainability in land use and community development with particular interest in waterways, fisheries, environmental restoration and Māori knowledge (customary and contemporary). Tui is currently a trustee for Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou.
Email Tui at