Nic Caviale

Catchment Community Group Facilitator


Nic holds a Master’s degree in Agronomy from the Ecole Nationale Superieure Agronomique from Toulouse, France, specializing in environmental management. Nic moved to Aotearoa in 2008 where he established his family on his wife's ancestral land in Wairoa, Northern Hawkes Bay.

As project manager for the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group and the Whakaki Fresh Water Improvement Fund, Nic helps communities realize their environmental goals. The Whangawehi model has been recognized internationally for achievements in river restoration, carrying out riparian planting and fencing, water and fish monitoring, pest control, engagement with the local school and development of a walkway etc. The group works with local farmers to reduce erosion and implement best practice in the catchment. Nic has also involved in a 4 year Research project lead by B+L NZ on Hill Country Futures as well as a Red Meat Profit Partnership project, where farmers work together to develop a brand claiming environmental stewardship. Nic has worked successfully  for many years with a number of Maori landowners in the Hawkes Bay, Tairawhiti area.


  • Certificate in Project Management (NZ), 2016
  • Certificate in Sustainable nutrient management in NZ agriculture level 1 (Massey University), 2013
  • Masters in Agronomy and Management of Natural Resources (Toulouse-France), 2002



Overview : 

I have extensive experience in project management of large-scale environmental projects (Whakaki Wetlands and Whangawehi, Northern Hawkes Bay).  Key achievements include:

  • Developing community-based Catchment Management Plans
  • Implementing sustainable land practices in Hawkes Bay, NZ
  • Developing successful funding applications, managing budgets and writing progress reports.

Ability to focus on engaging with communities to achieve outcomes.
Strong local networks at regional and national level.
Very experienced in working with Maori communities.
Extensive use of communication tools for transparency and reporting purposes.

Whangawehi Catchment Management Group/Whakaki Restoration: Project Manager   2012–Now

  • Applied for funding, raised and managed over $ 5 Million NZD
  • Retired over 1500 ha of land and established over 400 000 native trees (wetlands and eroded soils)
  • Developed a large-scale community/Marae led catchment management plan
  • Implementation of health and safety requirements in project management.
  • Developing and implementing targeted pest control strategies.
  • Actively engaging with Marae, landowners, iwi, schools and government.
  • Development of a unique local environmental school project.
  • Coordinating the Cultural Assessment of the several catchments.
  • Coordinating several research projects as part of the Regenerative Hill Country Futures (B+L NZ)
  • Initiating the development of a publicly accessible walkway.
  • Initiating a branding project for sustainably produced meat.
  • Organise procurement process before hiring contractors.
  • Development of a community-based water monitoring project

2013 - Whangawehi Catchment Management Group wins the Trust Power Community Awards.
2014 – WCMG wins the Pride of NZ Awards in the environmental category.
2015- Rae Te Nahu wins New Zealander of the Year.
2017- WCMG wins the Supreme Awards at the Green Ribbon Awards NZ. Winner of the “caring for our water category”.
2018 - WCMG wins the Asia Pacific environmental Awards (Pacific category) in Sydney.
2019 - WCMG is finalist at the International River Awards in Brisbane

Regions: Hawkes Bay, Wairoa

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To: Nic Caviale