Healthy Ecosystems icon

Healthy Ecosystems

An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals and other organisms, in conjunction with the landscape around them, come together to form the web of life. Human impact is by far the greatest threat to the functioning of normal ecological processes.

Healthy Ecosystems is one of the two key themes identified in the Community Catchment Plan (CCP). Our alpine freshwater ecosystems rely on clean water to thrive. The NPS-FM recognises five components of ecosystem health that must be managed and reported on:

  1. Water Quality (chemical, physical, biological)
  2. Water Quantity (water flows and levels)
  3. Physical Habitat (available for plants and animals)
  4. Aquatic Life (animals, plants and algae present)
  5. Functioning Ecosystem (interactions between them all)
Click on icons on the map to see details MAP KEY -+

Water supports our unique ecosystems

Ecosystems can be large, like a forest, or small, like a pond. Many are crucial to human societies, providing people with water, food, building materials and a host of other essentials. They also provide planet-wide benefits like climate protection and biodiversity conservation.

New Zealand is home to all kinds of unique ecosystems containing plants and animals that are found nowhere else in the world. In our catchment, many of these ecosystems have freshwater – lakes, rivers or wetlands – at their heart. Without healthy freshwater environments, many of our unique taonga such as fish, birds, and plants wouldn’t be able to survive.

Subjects of interest


Healthy Ecosystems icon

Aquatic Life
Functioning Ecosystems
Physical Habitat
Water Quality
Water Quantity

Cultural Values
Economic Wellbeing
Safe Recreation
Social Wellbeing

Risks to the Catchment icon

Climate Change
Pest Flora & Fauna
Rural Development
Tourism and Recreation
Urban Development

Collaboration icon

How the CCP helps

Land Management
Urban Development
Ecosystem Action
Mātauranga Māori

News & Updates

  • Fostering behaviours of belonging
    Welcome 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 II
      Kia 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 commissioned
    We 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 2022
    We 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

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