Catchment Groups

WAI Wānaka is connecting catchment groups with local businesses, stakeholders, community groups and experts. Working together to protect and enhance our ecosystems for future generations.

Catchment groups play a crucial role in engaging communities, promoting environmental stewardship and encouraging action on the ground.

These groups are generally comprised of various stakeholders (e.g., landowners, farmers and local businesses) within a specific geographical area. As a group they identify key issues and determine their own priorities for the catchment.

WAI Wānaka have supported Upper Clutha community members and landowners in establishing 6 rural catchment groups, 4 small landholder action groups and 3 urban catchment groups. We continue to support these groups in coordination, facilitation, connection to experts and connection to funding opportunities.

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

Urban Catchment Groups

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.

Rural Catchment Groups

Within the Upper Clutha catchment there are 5 active rural catchment groups: Cardrona, Maungawera, Luggate, Lake Hāwea and Lake Wānaka. Each of these groups have determined their priorities for the catchment and have been working collaboratively to address issues in their local area and protect and enhance their local ecosystems. WAI has been supporting these groups in:

  • Connection with experts, local businesses and funding opportunities.
  • Group coordination.
  • Group facilitation.
  • Assistance in funding applications

Small Landholder Action Groups Wanaka

Small Landholder Groups

Following the success of the Action Groups formed between larger properties of the Upper Clutha, WAI Wānaka is facilitating similar groups within small landholders (properties greater than 20 hectares).

This small group framework assists landholders to work together to achieve shared goals, such as: 

  • Developing Farm Environment Plans  
  • Accessing experts to understand GHG emissions
  • Carrying out activities such as pest and weed control, biodiversity and freshwater monitoring, and native planting 

Four small landholder groups have been established to date, with more being formed.

Catchment Group Award Winner 2022

WAI Wānaka were very excited to receive the Inaugural New Zealand Landcare Trust Catchment Group Award in 2022.

The judges particularly liked the fact WAI Wānaka actively engages with 84 per cent of the Upper Clutha catchment’s larger farms and involve more than 60 properties that are bigger than 20ha. The development of interconnected strategies and trained field crews to carry out such things as weed and animal pest control, planting, and biodiversity and freshwater monitoring also played a role.

“Their approach considers the health and wellbeing of both urban and rural communities, and includes the upskilling of locals.”





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