Joint effort to meet freshwater standards in Whakaki project

Project aimed at transitioning the catchment to more productive and environmentally sustainable land use

Project aimed at transitioning the catchment to more productive and environmentally sustainable land use

ADDRESSING historical land use issues and supporting farmers in meeting freshwater standards is the focus of a Whakaki Catchment pilot project.

Wairoa District Council, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) have joined together in the pilot project to deliver several integrated outcomes— social, cultural, environmental and economic.

The project is aimed at transitioning the catchment to more productive and environmentally sustainable land use, support and build community resilience and well-being, and to test and evaluate the project for wider application.

In a presentation to the Wairoa District Council economic development committee last month, project director Amanda Langley said the Whakaki Catchment was a complex environment with diverse interests and perspectives in its local community.

Multiple factors contributed to the situation and there was no clear or single solution.

“It will be a highly collaborative approach and the project will be ongoing.”

The pilot will include monitoring and adapting over time to see what works and what doesn’t.

Ms Langley said the project would be driven by the community’s desires and visions.

A series of hui were held recently to build a rapport with the community, and to understand and help strengthen a “champion” network across the catchment community.

“We wanted to step back and find out what the needs were from a community perspective.

“Ecologically and culturally it is a very significant area.

“We want to put the community at the centre of the vision.”

The hui included representatives from Wairoa District Council, the Whakaki community and hill country farmers.

“Communities live and breathe their own domain. They are the experts and people have greater buy-in if they participate in the design of things that affect them, leading to better outcomes.

“When frustrations have had an opportunity to be aired, the optimism and desire to maximise opportunities exist.

“Communities are looking to build their economic base for long-term sustainability as much as they are looking to protect their natural resources.”

Ms Langley said what might work for one community, might not work for another.

She also said complex and adaptive management would be needed for the pilot project.

“Long-term commitment with the community is required for sustained change. It will be a long process.”

Ms Langley said there was opportunity to take the learnings and insights and roll them out beyond Whakaki.

It was a challenge to look for viable alternatives for an area like Whakaki, she added.

ADDRESSING historical land use issues and supporting farmers in meeting freshwater standards is the focus of a Whakaki Catchment pilot project.

Wairoa District Council, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) have joined together in the pilot project to deliver several integrated outcomes— social, cultural, environmental and economic.

The project is aimed at transitioning the catchment to more productive and environmentally sustainable land use, support and build community resilience and well-being, and to test and evaluate the project for wider application.

In a presentation to the Wairoa District Council economic development committee last month, project director Amanda Langley said the Whakaki Catchment was a complex environment with diverse interests and perspectives in its local community.

Multiple factors contributed to the situation and there was no clear or single solution.

“It will be a highly collaborative approach and the project will be ongoing.”

The pilot will include monitoring and adapting over time to see what works and what doesn’t.

Ms Langley said the project would be driven by the community’s desires and visions.

A series of hui were held recently to build a rapport with the community, and to understand and help strengthen a “champion” network across the catchment community.

“We wanted to step back and find out what the needs were from a community perspective.

“Ecologically and culturally it is a very significant area.

“We want to put the community at the centre of the vision.”

The hui included representatives from Wairoa District Council, the Whakaki community and hill country farmers.

“Communities live and breathe their own domain. They are the experts and people have greater buy-in if they participate in the design of things that affect them, leading to better outcomes.

“When frustrations have had an opportunity to be aired, the optimism and desire to maximise opportunities exist.

“Communities are looking to build their economic base for long-term sustainability as much as they are looking to protect their natural resources.”

Ms Langley said what might work for one community, might not work for another.

She also said complex and adaptive management would be needed for the pilot project.

“Long-term commitment with the community is required for sustained change. It will be a long process.”

Ms Langley said there was opportunity to take the learnings and insights and roll them out beyond Whakaki.

It was a challenge to look for viable alternatives for an area like Whakaki, she added.

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