A $1.1 million funding boost will help farmer-led Wairarapa catchment community groups to take action for better biodiversity and stream health outcomes and the resilience of their communities.

The funding is part of a partnership between the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Wairarapa Pūkaha to Kawakawa Alliance announced today. It will see a region-wide plan developed to grow and support farmer-led catchment groups over the next two years.

The funding agreement includes the establishment of a steering group and regional and local coordinator roles. The steering group will be made up of representatives from iwi, the farming community and agencies, and will be responsible for developing and monitoring the plan’s implementation.

“Local coordinators, at a catchment or sub catchment level, will be recruited from within each community and be responsible for the coordination of the catchment group,” says Wairarapa Pūkaha to Kawakawa Alliance chair Gill Murray.

“Groups will work with partners to develop and then implement a local catchment plan. Training will be provided to the local coordinators as well as networking opportunities with other catchment coordinators.

“The programme of work will include governance and coordination support to groups, development of individual farm plans that will feed into wider catchment plans. Workshops on topics such as mapping, stream health monitoring and predator control will also be delivered across the region.”

Mrs Murray says the funding from MPI will enable a more strategic and integrated approach and an increase in the number of active catchment community groups in the Wairarapa.

“The existing groups have done fantastic work fencing and planting waterways, monitoring stream health, and working together for their catchment. The funding provides an opportunity to build on this work supporting the development of more groups and providing regional coordination and support.”

The funding will build on existing catchment work the Wairarapa Pūkaha to Kawakawa Alliance is doing with Greater Wellington Regional Council and Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

If you are interested in being involved, get in touch at kiaora@waip2k.org.nz.

Steering Group Members

  • Kate Wyeth – Chair
  • Andrew Stewart
  • George Tatham
  • Vern Brasell
  • Barbie Barton
  • Richard Johns
  • Tash Styles
  • Gill Murray
  • Andrea Rutene

See profiles of the Steering Group Members.

Catchment Community Groups
Catchment communities are groups of people, who identify with a geographical area, usually based on a river or lake catchment, working together to take actions to achieve a long-term vision based on a healthy environment and a thriving community (Source: NZ Landcare Trust).

Wairarapa Pūkaha to Kawakawa Alliance
The Wairarapa Pūkaha to Kawakawa Alliance is a community-led network with a vision for thriving biodiversity and connected communities where land, water and people flourish. To learn more, visit www.waip2k.org.nz.

Photo: The Upper Waipoua Kaitiaki Catchment Group get together to learn about monitoring stream health (Source: Lynley Wyeth)