Environment Canterbury Report

Leading locally

Performing well

ECan has made very positive steps back to a councillor-led organisation, while preserving the good governance and relationships developed over previous years by commissioners.

The appointment of commissioners in 2010 reflected a lack of confidence in both ECan’s performance and leadership. The Council has responded to that challenge with a better articulated vision for the region, improved governance and stronger relationships with stakeholders.

Investing money well

Better than competent

ECan’s finances are conservatively, but well-managed, with no evidence of significant risk around either capital or operational expenditure. The Financial Strategy could be improved with clearly stated strategic goals, and specific measurements for determining how successes in achieving them will be assessed.

The Council needs to identify its costs more closely with its activities and make that information transparent to ratepayers, possibly through its on-line “bubble” tool.

Delivering what’s important

Better than competent

ECan has put a great deal of effort into permitting farm activity across its ten geographic zones. There is good reporting on activities and reporting on effects will emerge over time. Progress has been made in introducing water meters, stock exclusion work and improving air quality.

The Council’s responsibilities span a challenging range of environmental issues which will likely become even more critical. In undertaking this role, ECan needs to be able to tell its story better.

Listening and responding


The commissioners devoted considerable effort to face-to-face communication across the region to support the Council’s major strategies, particularly its water management strategy, and the council and staff have carried on this work. Other accountability reports such as Annual Reports could better set out what is being achieved.

A priority for commissioners was to establish sound relationships particularly to support implementation of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.