Local community check out living water work at Hikurangi open day


Held at Jordan Valley Farm, the open day was a chance for the community to hear about work in the Hikurangi catchment by Fonterra and DOC to improve water quality and increase the abundance and variety of native species.

The work is being undertaken in partnership with local dairy farmers, Nga Kaitiaki O Nga Wai Maori and a range of key stakeholders, including the Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group, Whangarei District Council and Northland Regional Council.

The day included activities run by The Whitebait Connection and Nga Kaitiaki O Nga Wai Maori that gave local primary school students the opportunity to get up close to native freshwater species living in the Hikurangi catchment.

Fonterra Living Water Project Manager Tim Brandenburg said, “We’ve spent the first year laying solid foundations for this 10-year programme, bringing together organisations and people to focus on the right projects and build on work already underway in the catchment. It’s been great having the local community visit to see what’s happening.”

DOC Commercial Partnerships Director Geoff Ensor said, “The open day was a chance for the local community to learn about the programme and see the huge amount of organisations and people that have banded together to make real change in the catchment. It also provided people an opportunity to share ideas for how they can get involved.”

The Hikurangi Catchment which covers about 55,000 hectares is a catchment of the Wairua River that flows into the Kaipara Harbour. Within the catchment is a floodplain covering 13,140 hectares with 5,670 hectares of this area included in a swamp drainage scheme.

About the Fonterra DOC Living Water programme

The Living Water programme is undertaking similar work with partner organisations and local communities to improve water quality at four other catchment sites in significant dairying regions throughout New Zealand.

The other Living Water catchments are: Pukorokoro / Miranda at Tikapa Moana / Firth of Thames; three Waikato Peat Lakes - Areare, Ruatuna and Rotomanuka; Te Waihora / Lake Ellesmere in Canterbury; and Awarua-Waituna in Southland.