Projects tend to be large scale operations, sometimes dealing with landcare problems at a ‘catchment level’. They often involve the Trust working together with multiple agencies plus landowners, farmers and landcare groups.

These projects are funded using four main sources:

MAF - Sustainable Farming Fund

MfE - Community Environment Fund

DOC - Biodiversity Advice Fund

Waikato River Clean-up Trust


List of Current Projects (March 2014)

Project # and

Project Manager




Milestones (Current Year)

Project 013


Jon Hampson

Ngaire Tyson

Reconnecting Northland


Northland Region

This initiative, “Reconnecting Natural Northland”, will be the first large-scale connectivity conservation project in Aotearoa New Zealand, and as such is breaking new ground and is innovative in its approach to conservation. This project will rebuild ecological resilience and restore ecological processes at a landscape scale. This will enable a full range of Aotearoa New Zealand’s native species - plants and animals - to increase their range and adapt to changing conditions brought about by predicted climate change.


What makes this project different from many environmental projects is that it seeks to build a “living landscape” that accommodates sustainable livelihoods while making space for nature. The project will also build social and economic capital across the region increasing the adoption of sustainable land management practices and building community resilience to climate change.

5 Year - Phase 1 Implementation (1 October 2012 to 30 September 2017)


Currently in Year 2

On-going development of key local and national contacts and partnerships.

Establish governance processes and working relationships between project partners and funders.

Convene a landscape level (Northland-based) project steering group.

Scope flagship projects.

Develop a monitoring and assessment framework.

Assess learnings from similar local and international programmes, including engagement strategies, governance structures and common challenges.



CEF 161

Community Environment Fund (MfE)


Jon Hampson




Waitangi River Catchment: Farming for the Future


Northland Region



Improve river water quality.

Enhance farm and catchment-scale resilience to climate change.

Optimise production and farm profitability.

3 Years (1 June 2012 to 31 May 2015) 


Currently in Year 2

Undertake riparian planting in partnership with landowners and the local community.

Complete four sheep/beef farm assessments for optimisation of profitability and environmental stewardship.

Update catchment scorecard documenting project activities and environmental changes over time.

CEF 129

Community Environment Fund (MfE)


Trudy Rankin

Volcano to Sea: Community Catchment Restoration


Auckland Region

To develop a new innovative catchment scale initiative in Auckland which links communities, remnant natural features and the sea. Volcano to Sea will capture the imagination of schools and community members, harnessing their enthusiasm to make positive changes in their local environment.

3 Years (1 July 2012 to 30 June 2015)


Currently in Year 2

Develop an integrated monitoring and reporting framework/process for biophysical indicators.

Carry out training to enable schools and community members to collect scientific data and share their results with the wider community.

Review and update the working draft of the Community Urban Restoration and Education Plan.  

Carry out planting days and restoration activities with schools and local community members.

CEF 052

Community Environment Fund (MfE)


Melinda Dresser

Nardene Berry

Community Catchment Action Plan for Lake Ngaroto


Waikato Region

The purpose of this project is to create a community-led Catchment Action Plan for Lake Ngaroto to improve the water quality of the lake and surrounding wetland restoration and enhancement efforts.  This will focus directly on the farms, many of which are dairy, within the catchment.


3 Years (1 July 2011 to 30 June 2014)


Currently in Year 3

Work with farmers who have completed a Whole Farm Plan to assist with implementing plan recommendations (e.g. on ground works such as fencing and planting).

Plan and organise a national workshop on lake catchment management.

Finalise a Catchment Action Plan for the lake catchment in partnership with the community.

CEF 023

Community Environment Fund (MfE)


Melinda Dresser

Nardene Berry

Community Wetland Restoration and Enhancement


National project

The purpose of this project is: (1) to develop practical tools to enable the wider community to actively monitor changes in wetland condition and gauge the success of their wetland restoration efforts; (2) build an on-line nation-wide community of volunteer restoration practitioners and their projects.


3 Years (1 July 2011 to 30 June 2014)


Currently in Year 3

Analyse evaluations from WETMAK training days to decide what areas need further development and explanation. 

Produce a series of You Tube training videos to support the WETMAK resource.

Partner with the National Wetland Trust on the delivery of their biannual national wetland conference (incorporating a 1 day WETmak workshop for conference attendees).

Produce WETLINK, a database of community wetland restoration projects and practitioners and explore the opportunity to link with Nature Space.

CEF 231

Community Environment Fund (MfE)


Barbara Stuart

The Buller River Enhancement Project


Tasman Region

The project purpose is to create a community-led catchment initiative for the Upper Buller River to enhance biodiversity, water quality and collaboration between tourism, recreation and farming sector groups as well as wider stakeholders.

3 Years (1 September 2013 to 31 August 2016)


Currently in Year 1

Formally establish a Project Steering Group  with representatives from the farming community, Tasman District Council, Department of Conversation, Fish and Game New Zealand, the NZ Kayak School and  iwi.

Undertake riparian planting events in the river catchment.  Record increases in the extent (area) of riparian planting over the three year course of the project.

Complete an initial bench marking survey sent to everyone on the project database. The survey will cover both community and agency issues, attitudes and environmental awareness (including awareness of BMPs).

CEF 236

Community Environment Fund


Phil Keene

Kakanui Community Catchment Project


Otago Region

The project's purpose is to undertake a community driven integrated catchment management project in the Kakanui catchment to improve environmental stewardship and improve the uptake and implementation of best management practices on farms, particularly in relation to enhancing water quality.

3 Years (1 September 2013 to 31 August 2016)


Currently in Year 1

Establish a Kakanui Catchment Steering Group with representatives from: North Otago Irrigation Co, Waitaki  District Council, local farmers including Federated Farmers and Te Runanga o Moeraki representatives.

Complete an information review of behaviour change theory applicable to project goals.

Complete development of a community-led ecological monitoring scheme for Kakanui catchment.

Hold regional master-class on Community Catchment Management

SFF 13-061

Sustainable Farming Fund (MPI)


Alastair Cole

Biocontrol of Field Horsetail in New Zealand


Manawatu/Whanganui Region

Field Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) has become a serious invasive pest of pasture, crop and riparian areas in wetter regions of New Zealand.  Traditional control measures are costly and are failing to control or reduce the spread of this weed.  Biocontrol potentially offers a cost-effective and enduring solution.  This project seeks to implement a biocontrol programme.

3 Years (1 July 2013 to 30 June 2016)


Currently in Year 1

European collection sites identified.  Insects collected and shipped to New Zealand. 

New Zealand survey of Field Horsetail for damaging invertebrates and fungi completed.

Begin host testing of 1-4 agents in New Zealand.

Field day and/or conference presentation held plus newsletter produced.

SFF 13-053

Sustainable Farming Fund (MPI)


Janet Gregory

Adoption of Deer Industry Environmental Best Practice


Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Canterbury and Southland Regions

The aim is to assist deer farmers to identify best practice for their individual farms, and their regional environmental challenges to improve soil management, nutrient management and water quality. The project will encourage commitment to ‘farmers  supporting farmers’ to adopt best management practices. Inspiring sustainability and meeting future environmental standards are the key outcomes.

3 Years (1 July 2013 to 30 June 2016)


Currently in Year 1

Confirm Project Management Group and work schedule for meetings with Focus Farms across all five areas.

Develop Communications Strategy and appropriate media channels.

Develop E (electronic) Network for remote farmers.

Complete seminars and field days in Focus Farm areas.

Produce 5 short videos of best practice on farm.

Report to Deer Industry Conference.


SFF 13-078

Sustainable Farming Fund (MPI)


Janet Gregory

Pomahaka Integrated Catchment Management Investigation


Otago Region

The Pomahaka catchment has been identified as a hotspot within Otago due to poor water quality.  This is caused by a combination of tile and mole drainage, stock access to waterways and winter feed crop grazing on saturated hillside pastures.  This project will be a scoping project to ascertain the most effective way to assist farmers and other stakeholders to improve water quality in the catchment while optimising profitability.

One Year (1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014)



Form core group/leadership group and develop a practical work programme of actions with timing, deliverables and responsibilities outlined.

Prepare a scoping report which outlines current farming practices and their contribution to water quality problems and reviews best practice options applicable to farming practices within the catchment.

Hold at least 2 focus groups sessions - to discuss the scoping report and identify workable options/practices.

Produce recommendations report by multi-stakeholder group.

Undertake public event/seminar to seek wider feedback on these recommendations.

Produce a project report that summarises project findings and next steps.

SFF 13-075

Sustainable Farming Fund (MPI)


The Trust is not the Project Manager for this project.  Phil Keene has been contracted to deliver a series of milestones in Year 1 of the project.

North Canterbury Farming Systems


Canterbury Region

The Project addresses an information and technology gap for North Canterbury Pastoral farmers.  The Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) has identified 100,000 hectares of land in North Canterbury suitable for irrigation which has high potential for increased productivity.  However the Land and Water Regional Plan impose nutrients limits by catchment and the requirement for nutrient management regimes for rural land use, both new and existing. Through catchment groups the project will provide a comprehensive set of background information and supporting data to allow better analysis and understanding of improving sustainability to meet ECAN regulations.

The Trust is contracted for the period 14 October 2013 to 30 June 2014 (Year 1 of the Project)

Establish four catchment groups and associated steering committees in conjunction with the Project Manager.

Facilitate workshops on catchment management with these four catchment groups.

Undertake a baseline survey of landowner/farmer awareness of environmental issues and use of best management practices for sustainable land and water management.

Prepare a Communications Plan for the project.

Produce a catchment management issues plan for the four catchments.

Hold workshops/field days to promote best management practices in partnership with the catchment groups.

WRA 11-060

Waikato River Authority (Clean Up Fund)


James Barnett

Nardene Berry

Melinda Dresser

Waikato River Catchment Guide: A Community Resource for Managing Land and Water into the Future


Waikato Region

To prepare and distribute a bi-lingual guide on ecological restoration techniques and cases studies in the Waikato River catchment.  The guide will explore current land and water management issues in the Waikato River catchment.  The guide will focus on innovative agency partnerships and community-based projects to restore river water quality and biodiversity

2 Years (1 July 2012 to 30 June 2014)


Currently in Year 2

Liaise with Waikato Tainui and agency cultural liaison staff to develop a basic protocol guiding the information gathering and content development phases of the project.

Develop project web page.

Prepare and print a bi-lingual guide on ecological restoration techniques and case studies within the Waikato River catchment.

In consultation with key contacts, develop outlines for hui/workshop content to support the roll out of the guide.

Undertake four hui across the Waikato catchment.

WRA 11-161

Waikato River Authority (Clean Up Fund)


Melinda Dresser

Nardene Berry

Community Catchment Restoration Action Plan for Rotomanuka Lakes


Waikato Region

Create a community catchment restoration action plan for Rotomanuka Lakes which will prioritise actions which farmers and agencies can take to prevent further degradation to the lakes.  The Action Plan will be created partly by using the information that is derived from Whole Farm Plans for a large proportion of the farms in the catchment and partly from other sources such as DOC, iwi, and Regional/District Councils.

3 Years (1 July 2012 to 30 June 2015)


Currently in Year 2

Identify priority farms in the catchment for Whole Farm Plans and prepare them in partnership with landowners.

Work with farmers to undertake priority farm system changes and ecological restoration work identified in the Whole Farm Plans.

Establish a Peat Lake Restoration Forum that identifies the current extent and location of community and agency restoration initiatives occurring in the region's peat lakes/catchments.

Using the information from Whole Farm Plans and from resource management agencies, develop a community-led Catchment Action Plan for the lakes.


Waikato River Authority (Clean Up Fund)


Melinda Dresser

Nardene Berry

Best Practice Guidelines for Willow and Alder Control for Riparian Restoration for the Waikato River


Waikato Region

The project aims to develop a set of guidelines for managing willow and alder that encompass different riparian management scenarios.  To do this the project will bring together all organisations that have an interest in willow and alders in the Waikato Region in a 'think tank'.  An independent facilitator will assist with the think tank sessions as it will allow potentially conflicting views to be heard and agreement to be reached by all stakeholders.

18 months (1 January 2014 to 30 June 2015)


Currently in Year 1

Bring together all organisations that have an interest in the management and/or control of willows and alders in the Waikato into a 'think tank'.

Participate in a series of 'think tank' workshops and work collaboratively with an independent facilitator to reach agreement on the best management/control strategies for willows and alders.

Develop agreed strategies for the management/control of willows and alders into a set of best practice guidelines. 

Publish and launch the guidelines at a public event.


Waikato River Authority (Clean Up Fund)


Melinda Dresser

Nardene Berry

Sharing Best Practice Ecological Restoration in the Waikato Catchment


Waikato Region

The project aims to undertake a stock take of existing restoration initiatives across the Waikato River catchment.  This will involve developing a database of who is undertaking protection and restoration work in the Waikato River catchment, where, and what their objectives are.

One Year (1 January 2014 to 30 November 2014)



Hire a contractor and prepare an agreed work programme for the project.

Develop a database of agency contacts, community/landowner contacts and information sources from which the restoration project database will be developed. 

Produce a draft database of all known ecological restoration projects occurring in the catchment.

Add GIS information to the database.  This will also include gaining consent (where possible) to have this GIS information loaded onto the Ripple Website (

Produce a final report incorporating the database, GIS information and supporting methodologies used to undertake the project.  This will include mapping the restoration project database in suitable formats.