Regions: Otago, Queenstown-Lakes
The Lake Wanaka Catchment - 95% of the farmed catchment.
The purpose of the group is encouraging the adoption of consistent tools and sustainable approaches to on-farm environmental management while also advancing a positive message about the farms in our catchment and their commitment to protecting Lake Wanaka.
More specifically this group is:
• implementing a consistent framework for farm environmental management over the catchment
• encourage and educate the landholders to adopt practices which reduce environmental losses
• allow better information flow on a catchment scale between the Group and interested parties such as the ORC, local interest groups, Beef & Lamb NZ etc
• build a better understanding with the Wanaka community around what are the important environmental issues and what is being done to manage them
The first two years (October 2017 - October 2019) of the project are focused "within the farm gate". Chris Arbuckle from Aspiring Environmental has been contracted to deliver for each property:
• A detailed LEP (Land Environment Plan) with a detailed map identifying "at risk" areas
• A response plan and timetable to address the on-farm issues identified
• An OVERSEER budget designed to optimise nutrient use
• Assistance with OVERSEER reporting requirements and meet community expectations
Some of the information collected will also be available in summary form to inform discussions with the ORC, Beef & Lamb NZ, Government departments, research organisations and local interest groups.
Currently the focus is on-farm actions. But the focus will move a little more "outside the farm gate" and allow the group to explore options such as:
• Establishing a more comprehensive Water Quality Sampling Plan across individual properties or the whole catchment to better understand what is happening
• Farmax (or similar) modelling to better examine environment-based changes / outputs with the financial implications for individual properties
• Discussing environmental and regulatory impacts / changes with the ORC and others on a catchment level
• Branding products at a catchment level based on an environmental standard and provenance
• Engaging the wider Wanaka community so everyone has a better understanding of the rural impacts on Lake Wanaka and what is being done about it.