Catchment Communities Steering Group


The Catchment Communities Steering Group has been formed to develop a region-wide plan to grow and support farmer-led catchment groups. The plan and associated funding will help farmer-led Wairarapa catchment community groups to take action for better biodiversity and stream health outcomes and the resilience of their communities.

If you are interested in forming a catchment group or want to know more about the project, please get in touch at

Catchment communities funding announcement media release

Catchment Communities Steering Group Members:

Kate Wyeth 
Kate runs a sheep and beef farm with her husband James at Kopuaranga. Kate has a background in farm consultancy with BakerAg and is a facilitator on the Agri-Women’s Development Trust and has recently finished her term as Associate Director for Beef and Lamb.

Tash Styles – Greater Wellington
Currently Team leader of the Land Management Planning team, the regional council’s team of awesome Land Management Advisors (LMA). Tash was an LMA before becoming team leader and has a background in farming good management practices, soil quality and greenhouse gas emissions. Tash works with several catchment groups across the Wairarapa and loves working with groups to see them connect their vision with actions and weaving all the good stuff together.

Andrea Rutene 
Andrea has experience in farming, business, management, governance, community services, teaching and Agri-Women’s Development. Andrea has iwi affiliations to Ngāi Tahu, Rangitāne o Wairarapa and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and is a trustee on Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa board, Ngāti Hinewaka me ona Hapū Karanga and an iwi representative on South Wairarapa District Council’s Māori Standing Committee.

Andrew Stewart – Chair
Andrew farms at Gladstone. Andrew has experience in natural resource management and facilitation and has been involved with catchment groups in Otago, the lower North Island and as Land Management Team Leader at Greater Wellington Regional Council.

George Tatham
George farms Matariki at Homeward south of Riversdale Beach with wife Sarah and 4 children. He is currently in his seventh year on the Beef + Lamb NZ Board. In 2010 he won the Supreme Award at the Greater Wellington/Wairarapa Ballance Farm Environment Awards and in the same year won the Wairarapa Farm Business of the Year award. He is a fifth generation farmer who sees preserving the land and biodiversity is a key responsibility and sees community catchment groups as the perfect way to do this alongside his community.

Vern Brasell
Vern is a director with Kaiwaiwai Dairies and is involved in various groups including Sustainable Wairarapa, Wairarapa Water Users, Dairy NZ Environment Leaders and Climate Change Ambassadors. Kaiwaiwai Dairies was named the 2019-2020 Greater Wellington Region Supreme Winner at the Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Barbie Barton
Barbie farms near Greytown where they have put 250ha into a QEII covenant and fenced off waterways and streams. Barbie has been involved in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards as a judging coordinator and is currently Chair of the Greater Wellington Farmer Reference Group.

Richard Johns
Richard farms at Wainuioru and is Chair of the Wainuioru Community River Care Group.

Photo: Steering Group Chair, Kate Wyeth (second from left) and WaiP2K Chair, Gill Murray (third from left), with other catchment group leaders and Hon. Damian O’Conner at the recent MPI funding announcement (Source: Harriet Gibson, RRCC)