Media release

ORC reference groups populated with diverse and accomplished members

Wednesday 24 June 2020

The reference groups have been assembled to assist with the review and development of ORC’s new Regional Policy Statement.

The Regional Policy Statement (RPS) sets the direction for future management of Otago's natural and physical resources. It also provides the foundation for the development of regional plans and district plans.

ORC General Manager Strategy, Policy and Science Gwyneth Elsum said the Council was thrilled with the high calibre of applicants to the reference groups.

“We sent out the call for people to get involved in these reference groups and have their input on the future of Otago’s natural and physical resources in mid-May, and we received over 190 applications. It was great to get such an enthusiastic response, and from a diverse group of people – many of whom might not typically engage with regional council issues.”

From a total of 192 applications, 92 were selected to cover the range of topics.

“The participants in these groups include experts in policy, science, and industry, and people with knowledge and experience of the issues. The first three groups of tranche one have already met this week,” Ms Elsum said.

Councillors decided in April to adopt an alternative approach for gathering community input into the new RPS, due to the disruption of Covid-19. The newly formed reference groups enable small, representative groups to give input and provide feedback about the proposed content of each topic of the RPS.