Public notice

Media release: Attending ORC’s next full Council meeting in Balclutha?

Wednesday 19 April 2023

The public are being encouraged to be part of or attend Otago Regional Council’s full meeting in Balclutha next week by Council Chair Gretchen Robertson.

“Holding this meeting in Balclutha alongside the mighty Clutha River is just part of the recognition of, and commitment to, our diverse Otago home,” she says.

Hosted at the Rosebank Lodge Meeting Room next Wednesday, 26 April, the ORC’s Environmental Science and Policy Committee meets at 10am, with a full Council meeting beginning at 1pm. The agenda is scheduled to be posted online on Monday.

Public can attend both meetings, to listen and better understand the threats to the environment and how ORC is developing plans to manage a range of issues across its responsibilities for land, air and water.

Or, by contacting the ORC now, they could appear in the Public Forum to raise awareness on any local or Otago-wide environmental topic which is of concern to them.

Cr Robertson says Balclutha’s been built on primary-processing, surrounded by fertile farmland, and also has very important estuarine, coastal, forest, riparian and aquatic biodiversity values as well – all being right on its doorstep.


Panorama of Robson Lagoon, Otago


A public Open Day was held today at Robson Lagoon (pictured above), about seven kilometres northeast of Balclutha, which is number five of New Zealand’s Top 10 wetland systems. A new automatic flow gate has been installed which will enhance its natural values and offer improved land drainage.

Cr Robertson says meetings are held at various locations around Otago during the year, making the point that “all of Otago is our home”.

She says while the full Council is in the Clutha district it will be visiting local projects ORC has been involved in, meet with Clutha District Council Councillors and have some informal discussions with local people who have been actively involved in ORC work for many years.

Cr Robertson highlighted Balclutha is the link to the Catlins, South and West Otago, and quoted Mayor Bryan Cadogan’s often remark that “all roads lead to Balclutha”.

“We recognise the importance of this area to mana whenua and to everyone who has settled here in Balclutha and the wider district,” she says.

Requests to attend the Public Forum should go to, and should be made no less than 24 hours before the meeting. Speakers will have five minutes at the start of meetings to put forward their topic.