Our first Newsletter of 2024! 

Collaboration & Partnership

Community Catchment Plan

Community Wellbeing



Healthy Ecosystems

Risks to our Catchment

Take Action

Te Taiao

Urban Development

WAI Action Groups

Whether your year kicked off with a busy or relaxing start, we hope you’ve been able to get outside and enjoy what our beautiful backyard has to offer. 

Ready to try something new?

Join us for our first ‘Get Your Feet Wet’ session of summer!

'Get your feet wet' image of feet in water

Picture this: lakeside views, hands-on learning, freshwater fun, and a chance to connect with the community – all in one arvo! 

Date: Wednesday, 14 Feb 
Time: 3pm – 5pm
Location: Stoney Creek Bridge (near Wānaka Watersports Facility)

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Another day, another ‘Litta Trap’ installed

We’ve been having a grate time working alongside the community, installing Stormwater 360‘s Litta Traps in storm drains around high-traffic areas.

As part of our Adopt a Drain programme, each trap installed is cleaned monthly by neighbourhood groups, businesses, and WAI volunteers who also record the types of rubbish each trap is collecting.

The traps were purchased to stop rubbish entering the river from the drains in front of the Albert town shopping area.

Our association is committed to checking them monthly and recording what we find in the national litter intelligence database. This information helps to identify and reduce rubbish entering our pristine Clutha River.”

 – Tania, Albert Town Community Association

Huge thank you to our Adopt a Drain / Litta Trap funders: Breen Construction Ltd, The Rotary Club of Wānaka, Mitre 10 Mega Wānaka and the Albert Town Community Association, as well as the businesses who have installed our Litta Traps in-kind: Breen Construction Ltd and Veolia NZ. 

Interested in adopting your neighbourhood storm drains or sponsoring a Litta Trap in our community? Please email jose@waiwanaka.nz.

Jose (WAI Wānaka), John (Rotary Club of Wānaka) and Andy (Friends of Bullock Creek), holding fish for the drains
Jose (WAI Wānaka), John (Rotary Club of Wānaka) and Andy (Friends of Bullock Creek). Thank-you John and the Wānaka Rotary for funding the Litta Trap that has been installed outside the Wānaka food trucks / near Bullock Creek!

The next generation accelerating action for our freshwater

Kia ora to the WAI summer interns: Emma, Georgie, and Cora! They’ve been working on a diverse range of projects here in the Upper Clutha:


B.Sc in Marine Science,
University of Otago

“I’m carrying out a project called ‘Teeny Tiny Truth in our Drinking Water,’ looking into the presence of microplastics in Wānaka and Hāwea’s drinking water supply.”




B.ASc in Agricultural Innovation and Environmental Management,
University of Otago

“I’m assisting the WAI team with the development of farm environmental plans, on-farm biodiversity enhancement and biosecurity measures, as well as participating in the land diversification project.”


Masters of Applied Computing,
Lincoln University

“As a Fullstack Software Developer, my main responsibility has been developing a website for dynamically visualizing the data from the Catchment Wide Monitoring project.”


We sat down with these three wāhine to learn more about their stories and what got them interested in working here at WAI. Click here to read the blog today.

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MAC Year 8s set to embark on farm field trips throughout the catchment

Multiple landowners are opening their gates this month for Year 8s of Te Kura o Tititea / Mount Aspiring College, as part of our education programme Embracing te Taiao – on the Farm. The programme gives students the opportunity to explore the connections between our environment and rural land use, diving into environmental issues and solutions within the Upper Clutha. 

Big thanks to the landowners and organisations involved for providing this opportunity for the future generation of our community:

Rippon Vineyard, Te Kākano Aotearoa, Ben Elms/Dr.Compost, Mt. Grand Station, Lincoln University, Lake Hāwea Station, Black Peak Farming, Forest Lodge Orchard, Alphaburn Station and the Wānaka Catchment Group

MAC year 8 field trip
Field trip to Lake Hāwea Station last year as part of Embracing Te Taiao – on the Farm.

Get involved in our upcoming events this month

14 February 11am – 12:30pm: ‘Get Your Feet Wet’ session at Stoney Creek Bridge 

20 February 5pm – 7pm: Monthly Maintenance at Kirimoko Bike Trails.

21 February 5:30pmOut on the roto visual clarity workshop email kelly@waiwanaka.nz for more info.

29 February 11:30am – 1pmLakefront clean-up at Waterfall Creek

silhouettes of people, birds and trees

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