Rural update 9th February 2022

Healthy Ecosystems

Jobs For Nature

Risks to our Catchment

WAI Action Groups

How about that rain?! In this weeks newsletter, it is with mixed emotions that we wish Sarah Jamieson well for her new role. Below you’ll find more information on agricultural emissions GHG roadshow dates, the NZ Landcare Trust Catchments Forum, and funding opportunity with Otago Catchments Community for catchment group leaders to attend, as well as some excellent e-forums from B+LNZ.

Give me a call if you’d like to discuss biodiversity and freshwater monitoring on your property. This service carried out by the WAI field team can help you gather data to track trends over time on your property, and fulfil requirements for farm environment plans and other industry accreditations.


Prue – 022 677 8141

New opportunity for Sarah Jamieson

Sarah has been with WAI for over 2 years now and played a big part in the massive change and growth both within the organisation and within our local farming community.

Sarah had a key role setting up and facilitating six action groups under the Red Meat Profit Partnership two years ago – all of which are still running post-funding and achieving their annual goals. Sarah knows the challenges of farming in these uncertain times and positively navigates the unknown to find proactive knowledge and solutions for her groups. Her passion for farming and the environment has seen her coordinate events from winter grazing through to community meetings, carbon planning and coordinated water testing across the basin.

WAI will miss her passionate and direct approach to getting things done, and her ability to see opportunities for our rural communities to achieve their goals. We are thrilled she is moving to an exciting new opportunity, while still connecting to WAI through her role as farmer lead of the Luggate Action Group.

They are big shoes to fill but WAI Wānaka will continue to facilitate and coordinate the groups and the work they do. With some exciting new opportunities coming at WAI we will be able to expand and extend the support we offer landowners. Prue Kane will be your first port of call through the transition.

A huge thank you to Sarah for her work and commitment! We wish her all the best for her new job at McElrea Consulting who specialises in Investment Logic Mapping, community development and engagement and facilitation and strategy development.


The team have been all across the Upper Clutha basin over the last couple of weeks. A lot of work has been focussed on native plant maintenance – some of the plantings done at the start of the project are starting to look impressive! The team has also been carrying out a lot of wilding conifer control. The focus of our work is trying to manage the spread of wilding pines and other conifers. While the problem on this side of the hill is not as obvious as over in the Wakatipu there is still a significant threat to our native biodiversity.

Before and after shot of wilding fir removal on Mt Burke


Have your say!

DairyNZ, B+LNZ and Federated Farmers are running roadshows throughout February on the options developed by the He Waka Eke Noa partnership as alternatives to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

The roadshow is part of the formal engagement process to get feedback and answer questions. You can provide feedback at a roadshow event or through the online feedback form.

Click here to find out dates and register for an event. Several online events are available.

B+LNZ Catchment Group E-Forum Series

15 Feb (Tue), 12-1pm

This session will cover the different formal structures catchment groups may consider using and the pros and cons of using a formal structure or not. It will also include a discussion on responsibilities for those involved in formal structures and include a Q&A session with Barbara McDermott and Chris Steenstra from law firm Norris Ward McKinnon.

Telling your story with Sally Rae and Rowena Duncum (rural journalists)

15 March (Tue), 1-2pm

This session will cover telling your catchment story and will include advice from our experienced panelists Rowena Duncam (The Country) and Sally Rae (Otago Daily Times) on how to get the best from different media sources and how best to engage with the media and your audience.

Maintaining momentum with a panel of catchment leaders

12 April (Tue), 12-1pm

Join our panel of catchment group leaders to discuss how to keep momentum within a group. They will provide some background as to how their groups have evolved, what has and hasn’t worked for them and the elements that help a group set a good vision.

Find out more or register here.

NZ Landcare Trust Catchments Forum – May 2022

This two-day event will bring together speakers to share their knowledge and experience in catchment management. This is an opportunity to be inspired, connect, discuss the latest innovations, and celebrate the important mahi being done to transition to more sustainable land use. Click here for more information about the forum.

OCC (Otago Catchment Community) are offering support for Otago’s catchment groups to attend the National Catchments Forum happening in Wellington. OCC will pay for registration and contribute toward flights and accommodation for one person from each group (limit of 12 groups). Register your interest here.

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