May 31, 2017

Living Water Helps To Grow Local School Kids’ Green Thumb

Purua School in Northland is building a new nursery to grow native trees and plants, thanks to funding from Living Water, a partnership between Fonterra and the Department of Conservation (DOC).

The native plants grown by the Purua School students will be distributed to farmers and other landowners to be used for riparian planting to improve water quality in streams, creeks and drains in the Hikurangi area, North-west of Whangarei.

Funding the school is part of the Living Water Community Initiatives Fund, which has awarded $51,000 to nine community organisations in the last year, in the Hikurangi and western Kaipara area. 

“Building the Purua School nursery is a great example of how Living Water is connecting members of the community and enabling them to set up programmes that will deliver conservation gains in their region,” says Living Water North Island Programme Lead Tim Brandenburg.

“We’re helping farmers to develop sustainable and profitable dairy farms that operate as part of healthy freshwater ecosystems, because we recognise strong healthy ecosystems underpin sustainable, profitable dairy farming.” says Tim Brandenburg.

Hikurangi is one of five Living Water catchments in dairying regions spread from Northland to Southland that is working to increase ecosystem resilience by reconnecting natural habitats on and off farm and increasing the abundance and variety of native wildlife. 

In each catchment, Living Water is working with dairy farmers, iwi, conservation groups, schools and other agencies to develop sustainable dairying systems and practices. These systems and practices will reduce demands on the natural environment while maintaining farm profitability. 

The nine recipients of Living Water Community Initiatives Fund in the Kaipara region are:

 

Purua School

$6000 to build a native plant nursery to further the school's environmental education programme and grow seedlings for local landowners to use for riparian planting. 

Tanekaha Community Pest Control Area 

$3903 to support ongoing work by Fonterra farmers to trap stoats and other pests that eat kiwi eggs and chicks across an area within the Hikurangi Swamp where Northland brown kiwi are living and breeding.

Ngā Kaitiaki O Ngā Wai Māori 

$4900 for riparian planting of native plants on the banks of the Mangawhare Stream and to buy electronic water quality monitoring devices to build their capability and exercise their role as Kaitiaki across the Wairua and Mangakahia catchments. 

Integrated Kaipara Catchment Management Group 

$5000 to buy electronic water quality monitoring devices and train their hunga mahi to build their capability and exercise their role as Kaitiaki across Kaipara waterways.  

Forest Bridge Trust 

$7000 for traps to control stoats, possums, rats and other pests that eat eggs and chicks of native birds and destroy native trees and plants. The trust’s vision is to create a connected landscape of healthy native forest and flourishing native wildlife from the eastern shore of the Kaipara Harbour to a stretch of the east coast, from Mangawhai Heads to the Tawharanui Peninsula.

Northland Fish and Game Council 

$5200 to restore two wetland areas. One wetland is on a Fonterra dairy farm at Mangakaramea the other is a riparian area on retired farmland at the confluence of the Wairua and Mangakahia Rivers.   

Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust 

$3402 to run eight workshops at Akerama Marae on setting up and running a native plant nursery.      

Otamatea Harbour Care Society

$5736 to enable the society to grow an extra 10,000 native plants at its nursery. Farmers and other landowners use the seedlings on their properties for riparian planting and to plant areas prone to erosion.

Whakapara Marae

$10,000 to assist with the restoration of a Whakapara River oxbow next to the Marae to enhance freshwater habitat for tuna (eels) and improve water quality to enable the community to use it as a swimming hole. 

 

Contacts 

Anna Johnstone Fonterra Communications

Phone: 021 458 831

24-hour media line: 021 507 072

 

Nick Hirst DOC Communications Advisor

Phone: 09 307 4866 / 027 704 7773

Email: nhirst@doc.govt.nz

 

About the Fonterra DOC Living Water Partnership

Living Water is a 10-year partnership between Fonterra and the Department of Conservation (DOC) who have a shared vision that a sustainable dairy industry is part of healthy, functioning ecosystems that together enrich the lives of all New Zealanders.

Living Water is focused on increasing ecosystem resilience by reconnecting natural habitats on and of the farm and increasing the abundance and variety of native wildlife. This is because strong healthy ecosystems underpin sustainable, profitable dairy farming.

At the same time, Living Water is working hand-in-hand with Fonterra farmers, the wider dairy industry and the science sector to develop sustainable dairying systems and practices. These systems and practices will reduce demands on the natural environment while maintaining farm profitability. 

At the local level, Living Water is working alongside dairy farmers, iwi, conservation groups, schools, local government and other agencies to demonstrate sustainable dairying in healthy freshwater ecosystems in five key dairying regions.

 

The Living Water catchments are: 

  • Kaipara Harbour (Northland) - focusing on the Hikurangi catchment north of Whangarei
  • Firth of Thames / Tīkapa Moana (Hauraki Gulf) - focusing on the Pūkorokoro / Miranda catchment  
  • Waikato peat lakes - focusing on lakes Areare, Ruatuna and Rotomānuka
  • Te Waihora / Lake Ellesmere (Canterbury) - focusing on the Ararira/LII catchment 
  • Awarua -Waituna (Southland) - focusing on the Waituna catchment    

 

About Fonterra

Fonterra is a global leader in dairy nutrition – the preferred supplier of dairy ingredients to many of the world’s leading food companies. It is also a market leader with its own consumer dairy brands in New Zealand and Australia, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. 

Fonterra is a farmer-owned co-operative and the largest exporter of milk in the world. It is one of the world’s largest investors in dairy research and innovation drawing on generations of dairy expertise to produce more than two million tonnes of dairy ingredients, value added dairy ingredients, specialty ingredients, and consumer products for 140 markets.