There are so many ways we all enjoy our lakes and rivers. Can you imagine if they were too polluted to be safe? Looking at what seems like pristine waters, it may be hard to imagine. But many rivers and lakes in our beautiful country are under threat right now. Our local waterways are no exception. Every day our delicate ecosystems are under more and more pressure.
Accelerating local action for our fresh water
Our Action Plan
We have an action plan for our catchment, the mighty Upper Clutha, covering a total area of 4,600 km2.
The Community Catchment Plan is our shared roadmap to improve and maintain the long-term health of Upper Clutha’s freshwater.
It identifies risks to the health of our waterways, gaps in our understanding and actions we need to take in order to reduce the effects of human activity on our aquatic ecosystems. You can view an overview of the plan here.
Healthy Ecosystems and Community Wellbeing for future generations
Our work supporting healthy ecosystems includes habitat restoration through native planting, weed control, pest animal and predator control, water monitoring and biodiversity enhancement.
These on the ground actions are based on current science and backed by educational programmes and community outreach. We are also helping businesses, landowners and urban groups to develop and roll out environmental plans.
Research shows that community wellbeing is closely linked to the natural environment, and connectedness to nature can enhance our emotional, physical and mental health, and reduce feelings of social isolation.
We believe that the more people know, the more prepared they are to step up. Each of us – locals and visitors alike – has a part to play in protecting this special place.
Jobs for Nature
Mahi mō te Taiao
Strengthening our shared connections to land, water and ecology.
As part of a nationwide initiative, WAI Wānaka’s Jobs for Nature programme delivers measurable benefits for the environment on-farm alongside providing much-needed local employment.
Wānaka Water Project
60 actions were identified for healthy ecosystems and community wellbeing through the Community Catchment Plan.
The Wānaka Water Project oversees the actions, organises community fundraising for riparian planting and commissions scientific research.
Education & Outreach
Education is at the heart of local action.
Our education and outreach programmes are building a passionate community of water advocates with the skills and knowledge to be the current and future voices for healthy water.
Connecting landowners, local businesses and the community.
Working together to protect healthy ecosystems and community wellbeing for years to come. WAI Wānaka helped establish 6 of the 7 catchment groups and 4 small landholder groups operating in the Central Lakes District.
Who is WAI Wānaka?
We’re an organisation made up of passionate individuals with a shared vision of healthy ecosystems and community wellbeing for future generations.
By working together, we empower communities to understand their water, their environment, and their impact.
WAI Wānaka’s team is on the ground, working with local individuals, catchment groups, landowners, iwi, councils, businesses, community groups and schools to improve ecosystem health, reverse biodiversity loss and keep our water healthy.
This is WAI 2021
Want to find out about WAI Wānaka in a snapshot? Download our booklet: This is WAI 2021
By working together, we empower communities to understand their water, their environment, and their impact
The more hands and minds working together towards the same goal, the greater the outcome.
Become part of our team of amazing volunteers. Fill in our questionnaire and let us know how you would like to participate.
Want to help us take care of this special place? Every donation, big or small, helps to create positive change for our environment.
Get in touch or sign up to our newsletter to have your say and stay in the loop about upcoming events and opportunities.
News & Updates
- Fostering behaviours of belongingWelcome to our first fundraising campaign! WAI Wānaka’s relationship with schools is flourishing. More tamariki and rangatahi are getting involved, and more preschools and schools… Read more
- Science Blog IIKia ora kotou, Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read the first part of my blog series focussed on WAI Wānaka’s contributions to understanding… Read more
- New research commissionedWe are excited to announce a project with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) to start a short-term study of currents in Lake Wānaka. This is the first research of its type on the deep-water lakes in our area.
- Rural update 7 April 2022We have our Autumn team trained up and ready to go! It’s a bit dry for planting so a perfect chance to get them started… Read more