Collaboration & Partnership

Community Catchment Plan

Community Wellbeing


Healthy Ecosystems

Jobs For Nature

Risks to our Catchment

Urban Development

WAI Action Groups

Wānaka Water Project

Wānaka aerial of Roys Bay - - Copyright WAI Wānaka

As the urban communities of Wānaka, Hāwea, Luggate, Cardrona and Makarora continue to grow, so too does the need to look after our urban environments. The Community Catchment Plan is our shared roadmap to improve and maintain the long-term health of the Upper Clutha Catchment, including our urban spaces. 

Now Live!

The Community Catchment Plan

We are very pleased to announce that all 60 actions of the Community Catchment Plan (CCP) are now live and accessible on our website. Each action plays an integral role towards our collaborative goal of healthy ecosystems and community wellbeing within the Upper Clutha Catchment. Most of The CCP actions fall within one of these five areas: Land Management, Urban Development, Ecosystem Actions, Collaboration & Behaviour Change and Mātauranga Māori.

Pictures for each of the 5 categories of the CCP actions.

Action Spotlight: 9

Details of Action 9 as found on the website

Action 9 of the Community Catchment Plan highlights the need for increased awareness and behaviour change, particularly in our urban spaces. Find out more about The CCP Actions related to urban development here.

People looking into a container with macroinvertebrates.
Learning about urban stream life with WAI Wānaka – Sustainable Communities Tour (Wao Summit).

UN Sustainable Development Goal 11

“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

SDG 11 symbol


Urban Catchment Groups

People on a jetty looking at fish and someone in a stream gathering water data

Passionate volunteers are a key driver for change in urban environments. Community-led urban catchment groups enable people with like-minded goals to come together and create positive change for the environment. They can be established through neighbour groups, school groups and clubs, or built around one or more specific environmental or sustainability goal. WAI Wānaka are working hard to establish urban catchment groups with a diverse array of priorities. Each group determines their own goals and projects that are supported and facilitated by WAI Wānaka.

Young Environmental Collective (YO.ECO)

young people talking around a table

Urban catchment groups can develop to strengthen the voice of a specific demographic. A new and exciting group has taken shape in our community for the younger generation. Supported and facilitated by WAI, The Young Environmental Collective (YO.ECO) is comprised of young, passionate and informed individuals who are eager to empower others and make positive changes for our local environment. Stay tuned as this group continues to grow and take action.

Kirimoko Neighbourhood Planting Event

Neighbourhood urban catchment groups are a great way for residents to learn, collaborate and take unified action in their own neighbourhoods. A community planting event took place early November in the Kirimoko area with a turnout of over 45 people across the 3-hour event. Held in collaboration between WAI Wānaka, Bike Wānaka, Southern Ventures, Southern Lakes Sanctuary and Wānaka Backyard Trapping, the event involved planting, plant maintenance, bike trail maintenance and the installation of a trapline. Over 20 volunteers have since signed up to WAI’s Urban Catchments mailing list with 10 expressing interest in specifically establishing a Kirimoko urban catchment group. Email Ollie to learn more or get involved.


Education in the Urban Space 

As 2023 rapidly approaches, our education team has been hard at work updating our education strategy. Plans to expand successful pilot programmes such as Take a Walk on the Wild Side and Our Drains Are Streams will connect local tamariki, rangatahi and adults alike to protect our special place. The updated strategy includes classroom resources and workshops, citizen science opportunities and practical ways businesses and households in our community can lessen their impact. 

Get involved:

New Citizen Science Projects on the Horizon

Citizen scientists are volunteers who contribute to scientific projects, usually by collecting or analysing data. Citizen science projects are opportunities for everyone in the community to learn new skills while also gathering meaningful data about our environment. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn about local citizen science projects coming this summer!

First Ever NZ Citizen Science Fluker Post at Wānaka Lakefront

WAI Wānaka facilitated the installation of the first ever Fluker Post in Aotearoa! Fluker Posts are wooden posts that act as photo points installed at strategic locations in the environment. No camera is left on a Fluker Post. Instead, people walking past use the Fluker Post app on their phone to take a photo of the given scene. This simple system of repeat photography provides valuable long term habitat restoration data.

The Wānaka Fluker Post is located next to the Te Ara Wānaka Boardwalk (past the Dinosaur Park). Download the Fluker Post app and begin your journey as a citizen scientist.


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