Action Groups

WAI Wānaka is connecting landowners, local businesses and the community to work together to protect and enhance our ecosystem for years to come.

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.

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

Catchment Group Coordination

With funding assistance from RMPP Action Network, WAI Wānaka has supported Upper Clutha landowners and helped to establish 6 of the 7 catchment groups and 4 small landholder groups operating in the Central Lakes District.

These groups determine their own priorities for each catchment, receiving a pool of funding to help with group facilitation and to provide access to experts, tools and resources. The science behind how the groups operate is based on a three year research project involving more than 75 farm businesses around NZ.

Related: Article about catchment groups.

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.

Small Landholder Action Groups Wanaka

Catchment Group Award Winner 2022

WAI Wānaka is very excited to receive the Inaugural New Zealand Landcare Trust Catchment Group Award this year.

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.”

Business Environmental Plans

WAI Wānaka supports the development of Business Environmental Plans for all businesses and industries. Similar to Land Environment Plans, Business Environmental Plans help all businesses to get started on the sustainability journey by understanding their own impacts, such as:
  • Water use
  • Discharges (including those into Council wastewater and stormwater networks)
  • Carbon footprint and mitigations 
  • On and off-site practices (e.g. sediment management on construction sites, storage of hazardous substances)
Business Environmental Action Groups Wanaka

Agricultural Emission Action Group Wanaka

Agricultural Emissions

WAI Wānaka is supporting farmers in the Upper Clutha region to develop understanding about agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. A series of workshops about agricultural emissions, calculating emissions and mitigations has been developed to increase ability of landowners to adapt to regulatory and reporting requirements as they become clear.

Through He Waka Eke Noa, the primary sector has signed up the following targets: 

  • By the end of 2021: 25% of farms must ‘know their number’ for greenhouse gas emissions and have a written plan to manage emissions – ideally in their Farm Environment Plans. 
  • By the end of 2022: every farm must know their number. 
  • In 2025: All farms have a written plan to measure and manage their greenhouse gas emissions (usually in their Farm Environment Plans). A nationwide farm-level pricing system will be in place.





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