Horizons Regional Council identified the Waikawa Catchment as a ‘target catchment’ in their One Plan.

This targeting led to intensive land use including dairying and horticultural production being regulated. There was also an identified need to involve all sectors and community members in a collaborative approach to improving water quality in the catchment to enable the level of improvement necessary.

NZ Landcare Trust secured funding to deliver a community catchment initiative in the Waikawa Stream.

This project proposed to engage the community, and increase the community connection with the waterbodies within the Waikawa catchment. A particular emphasis in this project was placed on informing, engaging and providing opportunities for hapū and iwi, given both their long history and connection with this catchment and their ownership of significant areas of land within the catchment.

Project Tasks

NZ Landcare Trust embarked on a three-year project in the Waikawa Catchment, which included:

  • Forming a project group representing all interests to help guide the direction of the project.
  • Building a ‘whole of catchment’ strategy and action plan together with the wider community, with leadership, guidance and co-development with local iwi/hapū.
  • Bringing farmers together and supporting them to help lead the way.
  • Providing additional resources and incentives for environmental enhancement to farmers and other landowners, above and beyond what is on offer from local authorities.
  • Bringing all groups within the community together to have a wider conversation than has been occurring to date.


Project Benefits

The intended benefits were as follows:

  • Promoted practical solutions.
  • Improved relationships with other stakeholders including the Regional Council.
  • More funding options.
  • Water quality improvements throughout the catchment.
  • Grew national recognition of how communities can make significant changes to water quality in catchments without regulatory intervention.