Top post for Waikawa woman

Marlborough Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - PAULA HULBURT

His­tory has been made at a spe­cial sit­ting of the En­vi­ron­ment Court as the first Marl­burian to hold a top post is sworn in.

Waikawa’s Glenice Paine took an oath as she was of­fi­cially ap­pointed to the court by Judge Brian Dwyer. It is the first time a deputy com­mis­sioner of the en­vi­ron­ment has been se­lected from Marl­bor­ough.

Smil­ing fam­ily and friends filled the pub­lic gallery at one of the Blen­heim Dis­trict Court rooms to mark the oc­ca­sion.

Born and bred in Pic­ton, Glenice is a descen­dant of Kata­rina Hikimapu and Wil­liam Keenan and has whaka­papa links with most of the wha¯nau in Waikawa and Pic­ton. Her ex­ten­sive back­ground in re­source and man­age­ment fields, es­pe­cially with iwi Te tiawa, saw her se­lected over a num­ber of other can­di­dates.

Wel­com­ing peo­ple to the mile­stone cer­e­mony, Judge Dwyer, who is also an En­vi­ron­ment Court judge, said Glenice’s knowl­edge and ex­per­tise were a good fit for the role. ‘‘Com­mis­sion­ers are ap­pointed be­cause of their knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence in a range of matters from eco­nomic and com­mer­cial af­fairs, ar­chi­tec­ture, en­gi­neer­ing and sur­vey­ing and knowl­edge of the Treaty of Wai­tangi.

‘‘She will help man­age the Court’s me­di­a­tion ser­vice. Seventy-five per cent of cases are set­tled at me­di­a­tion and you must un­der­stand points of view from all par­ties and, most of all, lead op­posed groups to an un­der­stand­ing that is ac­cept­able to all.

‘‘From grant­ing ap­proval to a mil­lion­dol­lar wind farm to or­der­ing a fence to come down in Ori­en­tal Bay, the role is var­ied,’’ he says.

Glenice worked as a po­lice of­fi­cer in Nel­son, Pic­ton, Blen­heim and Motueka af­ter grad­u­at­ing from the po­lice force in 1974.

She also has six years’ ex­pe­ri­ence on the Con­ser­va­tion Board and in the last decade has used her knowl­edge to protect and pro­mote Te tiawa en­vi­ron­men­tal in­ter­ests.

These in­ter­ests in­clude all nat­u­ral re­sources, in­clud­ing the pro­tec­tion of mahinga kai, clean air, wa­ter and the con­ser­va­tion of en­dan­gered species.

Her new role, which starts in early Oc­to­ber, will take her across the coun­try. She is one of just nine com­mis­sion­ers ap­pointed across New Zealand.

As a deputy com­mis­sioner Glenice’s pow­ers are ex­actly the same as a com­mis­sioner but on a part-time ba­sis. She says her ap­point­ment was a spe­cial day for her and her fam­ily.

‘‘I’m re­ally proud. This has been a jour­ney for me ... who would have thought it would end up here.

‘‘I was re­ally hon­oured to be asked and to be suc­cess­ful in my ap­pli­ca­tion,’’ Glenice says.

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