Embracing te Taiao – On the Farm

Healthy Ecosystems
Risks to our Catchment
WAI Action Groups

Education Pilot Programme

This programme connects the classroom with environmental issues and solutions on farms in the Upper Clutha catchment. WAI Wānaka has developed in-class and in-field activities for students to explore the connections between our environment and rural land use, focused on:
and ĀNGI – AIR
Students from Holy Family primary school are learning all about the tiny creature living in Bullock Creek and why it is important to keep the water clean.

Funded by Otago Regional Council’s ECO Fund


June 2022

A first school field trip has finally happened with a group of students from Te Kura O Take Kārara. A visit to Kidds Bush and Hunter Valley Station where they were met by WAI Wānaka’s education team, Damian from Enviroschools and Hannah Carter from Hunter Valley Station. The kids got explore the bush, learn about water quality and learn about life on the farm before cars and how Hunter Valley Station as it is today used to be two different farms.

February 2022

With students unable to visit farms and schools closed to visitors due to Covid, the ‘Embracing te Taiao’ programme has gone online. To help with engagement in the classroom, we’ve set up a direct link with WAI Wānaka’s field crew through SLACK. The field crew post a quick video snippet of where they are and their mahi that day. That way, our rangatahi in the classroom are able to connect with actions on farms across the Upper Clutha from the school grounds. 

Once a week each of the seven year 8 classes at Mount Aspiring College (MAC) will be given the opportunity to reply and ask questions to the crew. The goal being to engage and inspire young, passionate minds in the region and prepare them for action on farm when Covid restrictions lift. Later in the term we will look to engage a panel of farmers to link in remotely for a Q&A session with these same classes.

We’re hoping that despite Covid restrictions students can still learn about the challenges and opportunities on-farm and all the amazing work our local farmers are doing as stewards of the land.

To learn more about the mahi the field crews are involved in, visit the Jobs for Nature | Mahi mō te Taiao page.


As part of this pilot programme, there are multiple classroom resources available for each of the four areas of interest. Please find the ones that are currently finished below.


Regenerative Agriculture
Regenerative Agriculture – a farmer led solution
Habitat Restoration & Pest Control
Habitat Restoration, Pest & Predator Control
Changing landscapes
Changing Landscapes – Repo, Riparian Planting & Fish Passages


Water Quality
Water Quantity
Water Quantity


Collaboration, Community and Catchments

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