Gerard Flannery of Ida Valley is a member of the Manuherikia Catchment Water Strategy Group’s executive team.
His goal is to help find a community-wide solution to the catchment’s water issues so its water is used to benefit all interests.
Gerard and his wife, Rosemary, live on the home farm in the Ida Valley and the family owns two other properties – one in the Omakau Valley, which is run by their eldest son, Tristan, and one at Galloway. All three properties are sheep and beef farms and are irrigated through mining privileges and water rights held by the irrigation companies the Flannerys hold shares in.
Gerard and Rosemary’s other three children have wide-ranging careers. Their other son, Sam, is studying clinical psychology at Otago University, one of their daughters, Olivia, is an accident and emergency nurse in Sydney, and their other daughter, Laura, is the national recruitment and alumni manager at the Queenstown Resort College.
Gerard has been involved in irrigation in the catchment for more than two decades. He has been a director of the Ida Valley Irrigation Company for 24 years, he chairs the Omakau Area Irrigation Company and he is a director of the Falls Dam Company. He has been a part of the MCWSG from the outset and, in the early 2000s, he was involved in a sustainable farming project called “Water it Better, Water it Right,” which focussed on the efficient use of water but “was a bit before its time,” Gerard said. He sees these roles as his contribution to his community.
When not on the farm or in the boardroom, Gerard enjoys being in the outdoors, particularly snow and water-skiing, and following rugby.