Background and context

A group of farmers and growers from around Taranaki, together with Venture Taranaki, initiated discussions early in 2020 about the challenges facing the rural sector and the possibility of establishing catchment communities around the region. This group came together as Taranaki Catchment Communities (TCC) with the aim to lead, engage and mobilise Taranaki’s rural sector to ensure a more environmental, economic and socially sustainable future. 

Funding from MPI enabled TCC to work with individual catchment groups from around the maunga to identify priorities and actions that would contribute to the sustainability of their communities. At the core of this project is the strength and diversity of the farmer-led TCC, who had already identified the need for change and the desire to create models and learnings that can be shared industry-wide. A farmer-led approach ensures those most impacted by proposed actions are at the forefront of driving their response.

Community involvement

There has been a strong groundswell of support from rural Taranaki communities for the work of TCC. To date:

Approx. 6,000 hours voluntarily committed to support this work

500+ farmers attended community meetings
Over 60 events facilitated

15 catchment groups formed + one region-wide working group

Developed relationships with community groups, local authorities, industry bodies and local iwi.

Welcome from the Chair

I am Donna Cram, a dairy farmer, Dairy Environment  Leader (DEL), member of the DEL national advisory,  (a DairyNZ lead initiative) and a Taranaki Federated 

Farmers Dairy committee member. My why is to  connect people across agricultural communities  using values-based communication to empower  positive and meaningful change. Alongside my husband, Philip, we see ourselves as guardians of  our Dairy Farm, Wylam Dene. We also understand  that we are interdependent with our community and  the agricultural sector.

Taranaki Catchment Communities was a vision born  from listening to challenges within our own region  through Dairy Environment Leaders. It was also a  response to new incoming regulations relating to  fresh water and greenhouse gases. Many consider  these regulations a threat, however, I believe that  we can farm in harmony with the environment.

Taranaki is a region with true natural advantage  through our climate and soils. It is also a region full  of passionate, dedicated farmers and growers who are committed to improve. This has already been  exemplified through the time and money that has  been invested into transforming and protecting  our waterways as part of the largest restorative  freshwater programme in the world. But this is just  the beginning. Our farmers and growers need the  knowledge and continued support to understand  our impact on the environment and to ensure the  sustainability of our farming sector and communities for generations to come.

We have a great story to tell and believe that with  the right support and knowledge we can enhance  the amazing work already happening in rural  communities throughout Taranaki.

Donna Cram
Chairperson, Taranaki Catchment Communities


Values of TCC Members we;

  • Are inclusive
  • Seek diversity
  • Have Integrity
  • Are Committed to the groups’ purposes
  • Seek to understand and hear others viewpoints
  • Strive for continuous Improvement
  • Look for Innovation
  • Foster a learning culture


The Principles of the TCC Incorporated Society aim to ensure;

  • We are farmer led and farmer driven
  • Local people will be engaged where they best meet the need of the group
  • Overheads are minimised to ensure funding focuses on groups goals
  • Stakeholders are engaged to be part of the journey and wider TCC team
  • Volunteer time is valued and appreciated
  • We review, analyse and plan often


Objectives: The TCC Incorporated
Society will;

  • Support our catchment groups
  • Be at the forefront of what is going on
  • Be visionary, with insight and foresight
  • Actively identify and collaborate with stakeholders
  • Advocate on behalf of catchment groups
  • Be a conduit to relevant knowledge expertise and innovative solutions

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