The Mayoral Forum met on 4 September 2020 and launched its Plan for Canterbury.
Other significant agenda items are summarised below.
Visitor destination management and freedom camping
The Forum is advocating with central government for:
- review of the self-contained vehicle standard
- a standardised approach to maps, signage and enforcement
- cross-agency alignment and collaboration between local authorities, the Department of Conservation, Land Information New Zealand and the New Zealand Transport Agency in managing freedom camping
- a review of the Freedom Camping Act 2011, including reversing the presumption that freedom camping is permissible except where prohibited by a local by-law.
The Forum will pick this up again with incoming Ministers after the formation of a new Government. High-value tourism is a key component of the Forum’s objective for sustainable regional development (Plan for Canterbury).
Reform of Three Waters service delivery (drinking water, waste water, stormwater)
Canterbury councils are working together in partnership with Ngāi Tahu to review options for delivery of Three Waters services in Canterbury, to inform councils’ engagement with central government on its reforms. Three Waters services is one of five priorities in the Mayoral Forum’s Plan for Canterbury.
Education and training
Mayor Dan Gordon reported on engagement with tertiary education organisations. The Forum agreed to encourage member councils to work with the Children’s University to expand the programme in Canterbury. Raising the aspiration of young people to participate in tertiary education and training contributes to the Forum’s objective in its Plan for Canterbury of shared economic prosperity through growing a highly skilled, well paid workforce.
Canterbury Water Management Strategy
Discussion focused on the current review of Zone Committee terms of reference. Sustainable environmental management focusing on land use and freshwater is a priority in the Plan for Canterbury.
Canterbury Covid-19 Oversight group: readiness, recovery, renewal
Jim Palmer, chair of the Chief Executives Forum, is co-chairing the Canterbury Covid-19 Oversight Group, and the interim Regional Skills Leadership Group.
Other agenda items included:
- preparing to develop a new Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy in 2021
- the annual report to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on the Mayoral Forum’s Food, Fibre and Innovation Programme – a multi-year project delivered by ChristchurchNZ and the University of Canterbury to encourage and support value-added primary production and high-value manufacturing (a priority in the Plan for Canterbury)
- farewelling Dr David Bromell from the Mayoral Forum secretariat as he moves to Germany to take up a research fellowship.