The project is governed by the Hekeao / Hinds Water Enhancement Trust (HHWET).

Trustees include:

  • Peter Lowe – Chair
  • Alister Argyle
  • Melanie Brooks
  • Neil Brown
  • Craig Fleming
  • Sir Graeme Harrison
  • Vince Lobb
  • Ian Mackenzie
  • Anne Marett
  • Rab McDowell
  • Mark Webb

Peter Lowe (Chair)

Peter Lowe is Chair of the Hekeao / Hinds Water Enhancement Trust.

Peter is a farmer with 18 years’ experience in the Hekeao/Hinds catchment. He currently operates near Hinds. 

Prior to this, Peter was a partner in a wider family farming business with interests in the Ashburton and Selwyn districts.

Peter’s relationship to the Hekeao Hinds catchment covers 25 years; This includes setting up a water user group then chairing the Hinds Drains Working Party. He has been active in his community through leadership roles in the Hinds School and Ashburton College Boards of Trustees. Peter also holds leadership responsibility in the Southern Rugby Football Club.

Peter is the Federated Farmers and groundwater user’s representative on HHWET and a Director/Trustee of family farming business companies.

In 2018 Environment Canterbury acknowledged Peter for his leadership in developing a new more sustainable era of water management for Mid Canterbury.

Mel Brooks

In June 2017 Mel made the move to lead the newly merged MHV Water team, taking up the role of Chief Executive. This followed over 18 years in the Financial Services Industry, both in New Zealand and abroad, spanning roles within Money Broking, Private Banking, Business Banking, Corporate Banking, and Leadership.

MHV Water are one of the largest irrigation schemes in New Zealand and they own the infrastructure which delivers water to over 50,000 hectares and manages the environmental compliance for their 206 Farmer Shareholders in the Hekeao/Hinds Plains area of Mid Canterbury. 

As Chief Executive of MHV Water, and Trustee on the Hinds Hekeao Water Enhancement Trust, which governs the Managed Aquifer Recharge and Targeted Stream Augmentation Trials in Mid Canterbury, Mel is acutely aware of the responsibility that comes with the use of our water resources and is proud of the role they play in supporting the catchment for improved water quality outcomes.

Neil Brown 

Neil Brown is Mayor of Ashburton District Council (ADC).

Neil is a born and bred Ashburton family man, having been married to Judy for 27 years and raised three children in the District.  He has lived and worked on farms throughout the district and has business interests in Ashburton. 

Before being elected Mayor in October 2019, Neil served three years as Deputy Mayor and 12 years as a councillor on the ADC.  

Neil’s relationship to the Hekeao Hinds catchment covers many years as a shareholder of Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation Limited, Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation Limited and a director of Rangitata Diversion Race Management Limited. 

Neil represents the ADC on HHWET in his capacity as Mayor.

Craig Fleming 

Craig Fleming is a farmer with 35 years’ experience in arable agriculture along with ownership of dairy farms.

Craig’s relationship to the Hekeao Hinds catchment covers a lifetime of living and farming alongside the lower Hinds River.

Craig is also active in the community as Chair of the Ashburton Hinds Drainage District Liaison Committee and the Hinds Drains Working Party

Craig is also a Director of Merredin Farm Ltd and Eiffelton Contractors Ltd.

Craig is the Ashburton Hinds Drainage District representative on HHWET. 

Graeme Harrison 

Graeme Harrison KNZM is a company director and Methven resident farmer who founded one of New Zealand’s largest export companies. Graeme has held many director roles in the meat, dairy, seafood, farming, trade and tertiary education sectors and was the inaugural chairman of the New Zealand International Business Forum.

Graeme served as a community appointee on the Hinds/Hekeao MAR Governance Group before becoming a Co-opted Trustee of HHWET.

Vincent Lobb

Vincent Lobb was born in Taranaki and was a dairy farmer in the region for 17 years before moving to the Hekeao Hinds Plains in 1997 to continue dairy farming. Vincent has been active in the irrigation sector in the Hekeao Hinds Plains since 2014.  He is currently a director of irrigation entities, RDRML, MHV Water & Irrigo.  

Vincent is the Rangitata Diversion Race (RDRML) representative on HHWET.  

Anne Marett

Anne Marett is a Chartered Accountant with 25 years’ experience providing accounting and business advisory services.

Prior to graduating from Lincoln University with a Commerce degree and joining the Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA), Anne spent 20 years as a registered nurse.

Anne is also active in the community through netball and other interests. She was awarded a Fellowship by NZICA for services to the Institute and community.

Prior to her recent retirement, Anne was the sole director/shareholder of Croys Ltd and a Director/Trustee of multiple client entities. She is also an appointed member of the shareholders committee of EA Networks and a member of the Professional Conduct Committee of NZICA.

Anne is a trustee of HHWET representing the community.