Rural update April 2023

Collaboration & Partnership

Community Catchment Plan

Jobs For Nature

Risks to our Catchment

Rural Development

Te Taiao

WAI Action Groups

This month the Jobs for Nature team are busy working with landowners planting natives throughout the catchment. We’ve also been out filming some of the action – come along to the Glendhu Woolshed on the 5th May to celebrate the mahi and see the debut of the film featuring landowners from across the district and their native plantings. 

You may be aware that the Jobs for Nature funding ends in June this year, so here at WAI we have been planning next steps to ensure both staff and landowners within the catchment are looked after. You can read more on the Jobs for Nature transition in the updates below. 

We also have plenty of events on in the coming month, we encourage you to join in and get involved.

Person in a field being filmed

Sarah Scurr and Billy being filmed for WAI’s video showcasing native planting.


Environmental Planning for Small Landowners – Workshop

We are hosting another environmental workshop for small farms on April the 27th. During the workshop, you will receive an Environmental Farm Plan template and we will guide you through the process completing a plan for your farm. 

The workshop will cover:

  • Good management practices
  • Identifying critical source areas (CSA) and areas of environmental risk
  • Understanding soils and visual soil assessments
  • Field visit  

Details of the event: 
April 27th at 5.00pm
213 Stevenson Road, Wanaka
Light snacks and drinks will be provided.

To register for the event please click here, or email Magali to find out more information.

Growing Together Celebration Event

To wrap up the Wānaka Water Project and WAI Wānaka’s Jobs for Nature programme and to celebrate over 45,000 native plants that have been planted across the Upper Clutha basin over the last 5 years, we invite you to the Growing Together event.

NZFAP Plus workshop

We are hosting another NZ Farm Assurance Plus Workshop on the 15th of May, we welcome you to come along and learn how the framework applies to your farm business. Simon and Alan have a wealth of experience so it’s a great opportunity to ask all the hard questions.

Revitalise Te Taiao Networking Event 

Are you interested in understanding more about the WAI Wānaka ‘Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao‘ pilot and the Revitalise Te Taiao programme? We have the national Revitalise Te Taiao team along with Te Kāhui Rau and Rere ki Uta, Rere ki Tai teams (the other two pilots who received Revialise Te Taiao funding) down in May.

We’re hosting an evening networking session to hear from the national team and meet the other pilots. This is a great opportunity to come along and learn about the Revitalise Te Taiao Programme and each of the place-based pilots that are underway throughout the country.

When: 15th May, 5.30pm – 7.30pm
Where: Wānaka, venue TBC
Drinks and nibbles available.

For more information about the event, please email Lucy, and check out the link below for an update on the Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao programme.


JFN Update

We are fast approaching the completion of both our Jobs for Nature and Wānaka Water Projects ending on June 30th. Join us to celebrate the incredible work that has happened across the basin at Glendhu Woolshed on the evening of Friday 5th May.

As Jobs for Nature is wrapping up, we continue to work with MPI to support on-farm work across catchment groups and landowners to deliver environmental goals and provide opportunities for our incredible cohort of highly trained field staff.

While WAI will no longer employ a field team directly, we are working with staff to identify career opportunities for them to pursue and hope to keep them connected with WAI.

Magali Domingo and Lucy Murray remain with WAI and supporting the rural community funded through Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao.

Staff Farewells

Julie Perry

Julie has been with WAI Wānaka since its inception as the Upper Clutha Lakes Trust back in 2016. Julie initially volunteered to work with Mandy Bell and others to set up the trust and since then has led WAI’s growth from three passionate part-timers to a thriving organisation of 45 staff at the height of the Jobs for Nature programme.

As Business Manager, Julie has developed relationships and partnerships with organisations locally, regionally and nationally – creating opportunities for WAI to grow and deliver impact to our Upper Clutha community. Julie has made an immeasurable contribution to WAI Wānaka, and the communities of the Upper Clutha, through her dedication to the WAI whānau and the Upper Clutha environment.

Julie will be greatly missed by staff and our partners who we work with but has left WAI with a strong legacy of impact through collaboration. We wish Julie all the best on her next adventures and thank her for her tireless mahi over the last 7 years.

Tom Allen

Tom joined the Jobs for Nature team in May 2021 and over the last year has been leading the operations and logistical support for the Jobs for Nature team.  Many of you would have been on the phone with Tom arranging field work for your properties over the last couple of years. 

Tom will be greatly missed by both the office and the field team at WAI, along with many farmers in the region. We thank Tom for all of his hard work he has put in to support the landowners and the field team, and we wish him all the best with his future endeavours.

Upper Clutha Winter Feed Competition 

The Upper Clutha Winter feed Competition is fast approaching. If you would like to enter, please download and complete an entry form and email it to

The winter feed social night and prizegiving will be held on the 9th of June 2023 at the Hāwea Community Centre. 

Podcast of the Month

This month’s podcasts come from Our Farms Our Future. Host Tim Dangen chats with Sam “The Trap Man” Gibson about dealing with pests on farm. Sam is a catchment coordinator at NZ Landcare Trust in Tairāwhiti, and his passion is trapping pests. Click the link below to listen.

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