Waikato Regional Council has embraced a community-driven planning process for setting limits to improve water management – Healthy Rivers: Wai Ora. In the Waikato-Waipa catchment, this has resulted in Plan Change 1, which significantly increases controls over farming activities. These changes will be the first step in an 80-year plan to protect and restore the rivers and lakes.
FONTERRA HAS BEEN GENERALLY SUPPORTIVE OF THE DIRECTION OF PLAN CHANGE 1 AND THE RECOGNITION OF THE LONG-TERM NATURE OF THE CHALLENGES OF ACHIEVING ENVIRONMENTAL TARGETS WHILE MAINTAINING VIBRANT COMMUNITIES.
Over the next ten years the Regional Council will also work on plan changes for Hauraki, Coromandel and West Coast. Fonterra will continue to work with the Regional Council and local communities to develop the best solutions to environmental issues.
From a dairy farming perspective sediment erosion and run-off is an issue in the Waipa and lower Waikato River and rivers draining to the Firth of Thames. Most lowland lakes are in a poor condition due to nutrients and changes in their drainage patterns resulting in frequent algae blooms.
Waikato Fonterra farmers’ progress towards some of the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord targets.
of significant waterways are fenced and have dairy excluded
The Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord defines regular crossing points as “any permanently flowing rivers, streams, drains and springs, more than a metre wide and 30cm deep.”
of regular stock crossing points have bridges or culverts
The Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord defines regular crossing points as “those used more than once a month to access the milking shed.”
of farms have collected nutrient management data
THE LIVING WATER WAIKATO PEAT LAKES (AREARE, RUATUNA AND ROTOMANUKA) PROGRAMME
is focused on
The restoration and habitat enhancement along the lake margins and drains.
Working with farmers around the lakes to adopt best farm management practices.
THE LIVING WATER WAIKATO FIRTH OF THAMES (PŪKOROKORO/MIRANDA) PROGRAMME
is focused on
Protecting, enhancing and expanding shorebird habitat, including high tide roosting habitat and salt marsh, and managing weeds and predators.
Supporting advocacy to protect international flyway sites.
Showcasing examples of best practice sustainable dairy farming.
Catchment call out #1
Fonterra farmers have been working on the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari initiative to help secure a healthy, productive and sustainable future for the Hauraki Gulf.
Catchment call out #2
Water quality in the Piako catchment, which many dairy farms surround, has been monitored for 30 years from more than 20 monitoring sites. Its nitrogen, phosphorus and clarity trends are all showing an improving trend.