WAI’s spring update

Community Wellbeing


Healthy Ecosystems

Jobs For Nature

Risks to our Catchment

Take Action

WAI Action Groups

Wānaka Water Project

Upper Clutha basin aerial photo
Spring is a fresh start in nature and a time to clear out some clutter, remove weeds and plant the right trees in the right place. 

WAI Wānaka’s field teams have been supporting landowners around the Upper Clutha Basin over the winter by removing wilding conifer trees and are now busy planting natives to enhance water quality and biodiversity. Our education programme is thriving, and the office team has grown so much that we’re having to expand our workspace! We’d love to hear from you if you can help out with building materials or labour.



Galaxiids Week

Canterbury Uni students

Keep an eye on our social media accounts this week to learn about non-migratory Galaxiids – an endangered family of fish that live in streams and tributaries in the Upper Clutha and which are are often overlooked in conservation efforts.

This campaign was put together on behalf of WAI Wānaka by three Bachelor of Communication students majoring in journalism at the University of Canterbury. We will introduce them further at the end of the campaign.

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Jobs for Nature | mahi mō te Taiao programme

WAI Wānaka’s field team has been hard at work this spring, planting at riparian sites throughout the Upper Clutha Basin. The team is currently planting a waterway at Mt Grand station in Lake Hāwea, which is part of the Lake Hāwea Catchment Group. This is one of the last sites to be planted through the Wānaka Water Project riparian planting programme, funded by the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund. With 1,500 plants going into this site, the team were excited to use the new auger for drilling holes, increasing planting rates and saving sore bodies!

Another integral part of enhancing the ecosystem of this waterway is removing weed species. Two large Willows in the creek are going to be removed.


Sustainable Development Goal 15

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Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. 

WAI Wānaka’s work supporting Goal #15: ‘Life on land’ includes habitat restoration (through native planting, weed control, pest animal and predator control), freshwater and biodiversity monitoring and environmental education programmes.


Wānaka Local Connection Day

Meeting of education leaders

Recently, WAI’s education team partnered with Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust, Enviroschools Otago, ORC and the NZ Association for Environmental Education to host a Local Connection Day for teachers and environmental organisations.

The day included a visit to the Bullock Creek Springs, storytelling and a presentation by Thea DePetris from Greening Taupo. An exciting start towards working more collaboratively to deliver environmental education in our region.


We need your help

From tuna (eels) to stormwater and all that flows between, your donation fuels an education programme that supports tamariki to make a difference.

During last week’s Wao Summit, WAI Wānaka organised an Upstream Battle, a citizen science project that gets students, teachers and volunteers out collecting and auditing litter. A separate event brought primary students together to create some temporary natural sculptures made from driftwood and rocks to showcase a message for the health of our underground streams (drains). This was part of the Our Drains are Streams Project.

WAI Wānaka's building is getting an upgrade

WAI Wānaka are expanding!

We have been steadily outgrowing our wee office at Riverbank Rd. To accommodate our growth, we are moving things around to better utilise the space we have. A big thank you to ORC for their ongoing support and assistance with this project. Do you have any spare building material you might like to donate? Or some spare time to volunteer helping our awesome builder, Rich Taal? We’d love to hear from you!

We are on the hunt for the following items:

  • 17mm H3 flooring ply
  • 9mm sheets of non-structural ply
  • 100×50 framing timber
  • 30×75 ceiling battens
  • Sheets of colour steel
  • R2.8 Ultra Wall batts
  • Building paper
  • Heat pumps x 2

If you can help us out, please get in touch with Cat Dillon on 021 303051 or email cat@waiwanaka.nz

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