Catchment projects across New Zealand have received funding to help landowners with more sustainable land management practices.
The $9.1 million from the government is for catchment projects in the Waikato, Manawatū-Whanganui, Taranaki, Canterbury, West Coast, Otago, and Southland regions as well as for two national organisations.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said the government’s strategy is to work with and invest in NZ farmers and growers to shift the dial, with the future of the country’s food and fibre export growth depending on walking the talk when it came to sustainability.
“We recognise the passion that many farmers and growers have for their waterways and are backing them to work together to improve land management practices and water quality.”
Since 2020, the government, through the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), has committed more than $47m to catchment groups. This includes large catchment projects that still have significant funding until 2026.
“Our investment has helped support more than 35 catchment projects, which are supporting hundreds of catchment and sub-catchment groups,” O’Connor said.
“For example, Thriving Southland, which is receiving $2.4m, now has catchment groups covering more than 90% of Southland more than 2000 farmers taking part in events.
“The Rangitīkei Rivers Catchment Collective has grown from seven to 23 sub-catchment groups since we began funding it in 2021.”
The farmer-led network Quorum Sense has been allocated $1.2m to help it expand from a regional approach to a national network of farmer-based groups. This will lead to greater reach and impact, he said.
“Catchment groups are helping thousands of farmers to access expertise and tools to improve their environmental and economic sustainability and wellbeing.
“We remain committed to the important work, research, and programmes being undertaken by catchment groups.”
The allocations, over two years, are:
• $2.4m – Thriving Southland (Southland)
• $2m – New Zealand Landcare Trust (National)
• $1.2m – Quorum Sense (National)
• $800,000 – Hurunui District Landcare Group (Canterbury)
• $600,000 – Rangitīkei Rivers Catchment Community (Manawatū-Whanganui)
• $582,000 – South Westland (West Coast)
• $500,000 – WAI Wānaka (Otago)
• $400,000 – Eastern Plains Land User Group (Canterbury)
• $326,989 – King Country River Care (Waikato)
• $300,000 – Taranaki Catchment Communities (Taranaki)