About OHRN

We are a community group committed to working collaboratively to restore the ecological health of the Ōpāwaho Heathcote River and its catchment.

Our collaborative approach means that we work with the ‘planners’ (from Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury) on river issues, and the ‘doers’ – the community groups, schools and others that work along the river. We are also involved in catchment-wide river activities such as the annual Mother of all Clean-ups in May, World Rivers Day, Estuary Fest and other events.

We are doing this because we care deeply about the health and the mauri of the River; about connecting our community around the River; and, about advocating on behalf of the River.

Our Committee 2020/2021

Annabelle Hasselmann
Annabelle has a background in geography, landscape architecture and water management. She is Deputy Chair of the Christchurch West Melton Zone Committee.
Rachel Barker
Rachel’s background is in conservation having worked on community partnerships for the Department of Conservation. She leads a group at the Ferrymead Heathcote Saltmarsh on the lower river.
Genevieve Long
Community Group Liaison
Genevieve has a background in music education and a passion for growing things. She has lived by the river all her life and patrols its banks daily.
Kay Robertson
Kay brings a financial background in tax and investments to her role in OHRN. She also takes a leading role in Predator Free Ōpāwaho.
Malcolm Long
Malcolm has a background in science and mathematics teaching as well as educational administration. He is associated with the Friends of Farnley Reserve.
Kathryn Bates
Kathryn has been involved in river advocacy community groups in Ōtautahi since 2013. She currently works for the Whaka Ora Healthy Harbour as the Project Lead for the Head of the Harbour project based at Rāpaki.
Sue Bye
Sue comes from a teaching and nursing background. She has lived in the area for 35 years, is the Coordinator of the Lower Cashmere Residents' Association and the Friends of the Ashgrove Reserve.
Alice Shanks
Alice is a field botanist who enjoys talking about weeds and indigenous plants. Both the River Network and the Friends of Ernle Clark Reserve, whom she leads, enable her to stay be in contact with nature and neighbours.
Daniel Collins
Daniel is an independent research scientist specialising in water and climate change. He brings 20+ years of experience in environmental science and policy to support his adopted catchment and community.
Suzanne Furkert
Alisdair Hutchison
A foundation member, Alisdair brings to the Network a lengthy involvement with the Avon-Heathcote Estuary. He has experience working in Government on environmental issues and in the community establishing and running environmental NGO’s.
Colin Meurk
Colin is an ecological scientist at Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research. He has over 40 years of experience in grass roots environmental action, research and the teaching of urban ecology and nature conservation.
Vicky Southworth
Vicky is a geologist and a Christchurch South/Ōwhanga Councillor on ECan with 15 years’ professional experience in the environmental sector. She supports positive changes for natural resources and land use, effective monitoring and enforcement.
Stacey Young
Stacey works in early childhood education. Her teaching philosophy includes working in harmony with nature and eliciting a biocentric perspective for young children to scaffold their active citizenship and positive interactions with our planet.

We are always looking for people with a range of skills to continue the growth and development of the Ōpāwaho Heathcote River Network. Come along to one of our committee meetings, held every 4th Tuesday of the month at the South Library Board Room at 7:00pm or contact the Chair of OHRN

Our Action Plan

Click to enlarge

Our commitment to a healthy group culture includes:

  • Keeping group purpose, culture and vision for the River in mind
  • Open, honest and clear communication
  • Not too many meetings
  • Having clear roles
  • Being non-judgemental and providing constructive criticism
  • Being reasonably informal
  • Being an adaptable and agile group
  • Using consensus decision-making
  • Acts of leadership
  • Having fun and being enthusiastic
  • Being creative
  • Being responsible for self and reflexive
  • Working with the energy, enthusiasm and skills available
  • Trusting each other
  • Being supportive, respectful, and peaceful
  • Being well facilitated
  • Making progress
  • Being open to learning new ways of doing things
  • Doing what we can
  • Having no ‘shoulds’, ‘oughts’, or failure
  • Commitment to learning Iwi priorities
  • Being efficient with everyone’s time
  • Encourage a diversity of perspectives – thinking beyond ourselves and bringing other perspectives from the community
  • Being courteous, listening actively and avoiding interrupting others

A Brief History of OHRN


Idea for organisation  initiated as response to lack of integrated river management

2015 - 2016

Workshop sessions with ECan and Community Boards


Steering committee writes Constitution

Nov 2017

Constitution adopted

Dec 2017

Network incorporated.  Co-Chairs: Helene Mautner and Karen Whitla

2017 - 2018

Strong interaction with Community workgroups

June 2018

Chair: Annabelle Hasselmann


Annual submissions on CCC & ECan plans commence