I grew up on a dry stock farm so I’ve always had a connection with the land. I’ve always been interested in looking after our environment. I studied economics and environmental planning at The University of Waikato. I first came to council as a student and have also spent some time working overseas for different boroughs in London, processing planning applications for things like small house extensions to larger commercial development. That was about as far from a Waikato dairy farm as you can get. People don’t often think of it but economics and our environment are connected, they’re linked. We can’t have a strong economy without a healthy environment.
The team I work with monitors the compliance of the Regional Plan and consents by dairy farms, with a key focus on effluent management. What a lot of people don’t realise is that we also spend a lot of time working with rural professionals and the industry as a whole to help farmers comply with our regulations. I really like working with people and seeing lasting outcomes; enabling farmers to do the right things that will improve the environment for the future.
Our team is where the rubber meets the road. We implement the different regulation and management tools directed towards improving the quality of our freshwater. We can visit over 1000 farms a year. What we do on the land is reflected in our waterways.