Canterbury Regional Council head commissioner Dame Margaret Bazley, says she believes water management problems in the region can be resolved.
Councillors have been replaced by commissioners after a Government report highlighted problems with freshwater management.
The commissioners held their first public meeting in Christchurch on Wednesday.
Dame Margaret says the commissioners will work inclusively with the people of Canterbury, farming and environmental groups to manage the region's water.
She says she believes resolution of disputed issues is possible, if there's goodwill from the different groups.
Dame Margaret says a discussion on the Canterbury water management strategy was postponed until the next meeting, because commissioners have only just been briefed on the strategy.