Mangaone West Landcare

Mangaone West Update - 14 October 2013

NZ Landcare Trust has been working with local farmer and conservationist Ossie Latham, with technical support provided by Horizons Regional Council, on a project that aims to improve water quality, predominantly through fencing and the development of riparian areas.

Having established a strong community interest in this initiative at a meeting held in April 2013, plans were put in place to identify a mechanism to distribute funds totalling $34,500 (Freshwater Clean up Fund provided $28,000, with the remainder coming from He Tini Awa environmental trust). NZ Landcare Trust helped run the grant process - promoting the grant, notifying farmers of deadlines for submissions and processing applications.

In total 15 farmers applied for a grant, which translated to distributing nearly $32K. However it is worth noting that an estimated $73K worth of monetary and in-kind contributions was identified from farmers within their grant applications.

In general farmers and landowners within this catchment have offered up considerable time and support to make this project work. They are also thinking ahead to the future, with a significant focus on sustainable agriculture.


Mangaone West

The Mangaone West Stream is a permanently flowing stream which flows in a south easterly direction from above Halcombe Township. It flows into the Makino Stream at Kitchener Park, near Feilding, which enters the Oroua River slightly further south-east.

The creek has a 6757 hectare catchment and is made up of extensive sheep and beef farms, a piggery operation and an ever expanding number of lifestyle blocks.

This catchment project began as a discussion with a very environmentally pro-active farmer (Ossie Latham), along with other farmers in this catchment who are interested in the re-formation of a landcare group, particularly with emphasis toward mustelid and rodent control to enhance native wildlife. This project is in its infancy, but will undoubtedly draw great interest from this community.

This catchment also has a very visual frontage onto the Awahuri-Feilding Road and onto Halcombe Road, which are both significant arterial routes for local and regional traffic.  There are also two schools along its length (one (Mount Biggs Enviro-school) hosted the past catchment group at their hall). The Mangaone West has significant stretches of stream that are well planted and only needs select areas to have stock exclusion and selected areas planted for this creek to be in very good shape.   

This creek is also in very close proximity to Feilding and runs alongside Halcombe. These two urban centres could be drawn to this project given the increasing interest from urban individuals and group in water quality enhancement works and the ease of access to this creek.

Catchment Care groups create enthusiasm, pride and a high level of ownership from landowners. These groups empower the community, provide networks between organisations and individuals. In national examples of these projects, funding and labour from landowners, communities and organisations has remained available for long term maintenance, which secures the long term success of the works described in the application.