Westpac Watercare Project

NZ Landcare Trust and Westpac New Zealand are supporting catchment groups across Aotearoa New Zealand to achieve their locally developed environmental, community and economic goals with the Westpac Watercare Project. 

Each year, six grants of $10,000 each are available to catchment groups across the Upper North Island, Eastern North Island, Central New Zealand, Canterbury, Otago-South Canterbury, and Southland to support sustainable initiatives for rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands.

Criteria for funding

  • Small to medium emerging catchment group (not necessarily a legal entity)
  • Not already resourced for the support being requested
  • Strong local landowner/land manager engagement
  • Can demonstrate an intention to engage with tangata whenua
  • Potential opportunities for good ecological outcomes
  • May need volunteers to achieve outcomes

Applications have now closed for the latest funding round. Register your interest for future grants

2023 Westpac Watercare Project Grant Recipients

The six recipients of 2023 Westpac Watercare Project grants are:

  • Oratia & Waiatarua Wildlife Project (Upper North Island): Establish fencing of restoration and riparian planting areas; community planting day with iwi; implement staged weed management and restoration planting plan.
  • Ahuriri Tributaries Catchment Group Trust (Eastern North Island): Implement a Mini Freshwater Environmental Plan process for small farms and lifestyle blocks and distribute planting starter packs.
  • Moutere Catchment Group (Central New Zealand): Create two to three new wetlands.
  • Summit Road Society for Avoca Valley Catchment (Canterbury): Restore the bush in the Avoca Valley catchment to create habitat and ecological corridors for native fauna, improve freshwater value, reduce erosion, and sediment run-off, restore mahinga kai and support carbon sequestration.
  • Teviot Valley Water Care (Otago): Create vegetation and silt traps and improve animal crossings at critical source points to catch overland flow in heavy ran events and inform best practice for the rest of the sub-catchments.
  • Mid-Oreti Catchment Group (Southland): Continue the Mini Forest Movement for the 2023/24 planting season and continue propagating our own plants ready to plant in the future.

2022 Westpac Watercare Project Grant Recipients


  • Piroa Conservation Trust (Upper North Island): Improving biodiversity through riparian planting, weed and pest animal control, fencing and planting to improve inanga populations.
  • Eastern Whio Link (Eastern North Island): Maintaining and rebating 400 traps with stoat lures and CO2 gas canisters to enable whio (blue duck) population to thrive.
  • Flaxbourne-Waima (Central New Zealand): Improving severe lake erosion and encouraging native wildlife to return through native planting and a pest control programme.
  • Sefton Saltwater Creek (Canterbury): Increasing existing water quality monitoring programme to sample four times a year.
  • Mid Taieri Wai (Otago): Implementing a water quality monitoring programme.
  • Makarewa Headwaters (Southland): Implementing a native planting and pest control programme. Additionally, creating a shared space that can be used for others

    2022 Westpac Watercare Project Summary

    In our first year of the Westpac Watercare Project, we have supported six fantastic groups across New Zealand to achieve some of their self-identified environmental goals. From maintaining an extensive landscape-scale predator control programme in Te Tairāwhiti to restoring īananga spawning sites along a river in Northland, providing benchmark river monitoring in Canterbury and Otago and protecting a significant lake system in Marlborough. While some of these projects are still underway, we acknowledge the dedication of the local champions and partnerships making a difference on the ground.


    • Predator Control in Te Tairāwhiti: An extensive predator control program is ongoing to protect the local ecosystem.
    • River Restoration in Northland: Efforts to restore īananga spawning sites along the Millbrook River exceeded expectations, with significant success.
    • River Monitoring in Canterbury and Otago: Benchmark river monitoring initiatives have been established to ensure water quality preservation.
    • Lake System Protection in Marlborough: Ongoing efforts to protect a vital lake system from environmental threats.
    • Riparian Buffer Creation: The creation of a riparian buffer along the Millbrook River, made possible by the dedication of local champions and supportive partnerships.
    • Community Planting: Successful planting events with the involvement of Westpac staff, ambassador Richie McCaw, and enthusiastic volunteers, including students and community members.

    We are honoured to have received support from Westpac and we are excited to track the lasting benefits  This Westpac Watercare Project exemplifies how dedication, collaboration, and community involvement can make a meaningful difference in environmental conservation.