The Kawhatau River source is in the Ruahine ranges and the Kawhatau catchment covers 23,000ha.
The Kawhatau flows into the Rangitikei and has a number of tributaries. There are a number of significant aquatic sites and it is an important trout fishery catchment.
The area is primarily hill country sheep and beef farmers although there are three commercial fruit and vegetable growers.
We started about twelve months ago spurred on by the Rangitikei River Community Catchment (RRCC) group that has a goal to have all the tributaries of the Rangitikei form into catchment groups.
We started by having a public meeting and an open invitation to all the area. We had presentations from Roger Daryrmple (RRCC) , Landcare Trust and our local Regional Council. The response was hugely positive with all but one farmer keen to join.
We have begun water monitoring and have six collection sites, collected monthly. This has been done for the last eight months and is giving us an idea of the current state of our catchment which is actually pretty good. We have had a couple of meetings with guest speakers and also a workshop on best practice winter grazing. In Autumn we plan to have a afternoon on site and have a fresh water ecologist attend.