Top post for Waikawa woman
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.