Waikato river and catchment, planning and management activities

Waikato Regional Council worked with 341 landowners in 2022/23 to retire 1726 hectares of land, plant 950,000 native trees and protect 137km of waterways

A community planting day in Ōtorohanga

The plantings were part of the Council’s river and catchment planning and management activities. Waikato and West Coast catchments manager Grant Blackie told the Integrated Catchment Management Committee that while the report gave some basic statistics, it

was important to acknowledge the rich picture of community partnerships the numbers represent. 

“If you think about the individuals and the iwi groups and everyone we’ve worked with in the past year, then the story is a lot richer than just a table of numbers, although, it’s still an impressive table of numbers,” says Grant.

He adds that one highlight for 2022/23 was the confirmation of the continuation of funding from the Ministry of Primary Industries’ Hill Country Erosion Fund for the next four years, from 2023 to 2027.

“We’ve successfully obtained another $2.86 million to make it cheaper for landowners to do mitigation work targeting hill country erosion.” 

Waikato Regional Council river management officer James Lineham at a community planting day in Ōtorohanga recently

Committee chair Robbie Cookson says the amount of work that landowners were doing to improve water quality in the region’s catchments was phenomenal, and there were many who also funded this type of work alone or with funding from sources other than the Council.
The Council’s Integrated Catchment Management directorate manages catchments in partnership with landowners to reduce soil erosion, flooding, and the amount of sediment getting into waterways, and to improve water quality, river stability, and river environments.

One way it does this is to help fund the costs of riparian and hill country fencing and planting.

This voluntary catchment and river restoration work is funded in different ways throughout the region, with funding coming from rates collected and/or by the Council applying for funding for various work programmes from other organisations (such as Waikato River Authority, the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust).

The Council has divided the region into eight catchment management zones: Central Waikato, Coromandel, Lake Taupō, Upper Waikato, Waihou/Piako, Waipā, and West Coast. 

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