Winter 2023 Newsletter
Welcome our first newsletter covering the amazing work of our communities across Taranaki.
We are really excited to share what’s been happening across the Taranaki region, through our catchment groups and Taranaki Catchment Communities (TCC).
We’ve now been running for more than two years and the impact our catchment communities are having is incredible. We’ve seen communities come back together for a common purpose, increasing collaboration between many organisations, skilled people coming together to find solutions and to ensure our communities are not overwhelmed. Finally, we are seeing increasing respect and understanding of our rural communities’ time and the financial resources that are needed to affect change in a short time frame. The rural communities have already financed a huge amount through a variety of activities such as fencing and planting with over seven million plants going through the Taranaki Regional Council to date.
The future need we saw for Taranaki Catchment Communities two years ago has turned into reality as we embark on new freshwater legislation, a need to lower emissions, pressure of rural health services and wellbeing, and the need for our communities to be more resilient around climate change adaptation.
Taranaki has an opportunity to lead New Zealand as a region through the funding of Integrated Farm Planning and our Catchment communities through our Sustainable Land Use funding.
TCC is going from strength to strength with a dedicated Project Manager, Paul Turner, and our Coordinators based across the region.
There is a large amount of work still to do. Taranaki Catchment Communities, with collaboration, will continue to educate and support our rural communities through our journey of change and as we move into a region wide delivery of programs.
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.
In May 2021, TCC was created as an Incorporated Society looking to lead, engage and mobilise Taranaki’s rural sector in the face of mounting legislative changes. In less than 18-months after forming, TCC had established 15 community catchment groups all around Mt. Taranaki. More than 2,088 farmers attend community events and committed almost 8,000 volunteer hours to support a range of initiatives.
Our community is not just about farmers and growers but establishing relationships with key stakeholders in the success of this project. Taranaki Regional Council, DairyNZ, Beef & Lamb, Venture Taranaki, Rural Support Trust, and Federated Farmers have all contributed time, resources, and advice which allowed TCC to act as the conduit between them and the farmers and growers we support.
You can read about the TCC workplan HERE. We’ve just finished one workplan in June 2023 and am embarking on the next stage right now.
TWO YEAR OF TCC AND THE VALUE IS UNDENIABLE
In just two years, 2,088 people have attended planned events/meetings and 61 workshops have been organised. TCC supported events led to 28 farmers with GHG calculations for their farms. There have been 44 water quality batch testing – multiple sites tested per batch. And 7,905 in-kind hours to date have been provided with a value of $412,237.
Taranaki Schools excel at Agri4kids
Two of our schools entered the AgriKids competition held by Young farmers. Wasgreat to see the Auroa School Agri4kids and Rahotu Primary School Agri4kids compete and congratulations to Auroa 1, Rahotu Red and Rahotu Blue for making it to the finals run off. Extra congratulations to Rahotu Blue for placing third overall and they will beat the finals down South in July.
Awatuna/AuroaFarming for the Future catchment water testing across their catchment
The catchment have just completed their second year of EDNA and Macro-invertebrates testing at 16 sites to better understand their waterways. Fantastic effort by everyone.
Patea River Catchment Group – Trap Building
The start of the year has been busy for the Patea River Catchment Group, after receiving funding from both the South Taranaki District Council through their Natural Environment Fund and the Toi Foundation. This funding allowed the Group to purchase the remaining 247 traps that were needed to implement the rest of our trapping plan, and to also engage Taranaki Kiwi Trust to begin drafting a “phase 2” plan.
The volunteers learning how to assemble the traps.
Jason Skipper and Ryan Tate pre-drilling the bases
Bayden Muller, Greg Buhler, and Thomas Werder on the production line
Xavier and Shawn England putting the sides on the traps
HADES Effluent Scoping Project
This project is a great collaboration between TRC, TCC, DairyNZ, AgFirst, Landpro and Fonterra. We’ve established a task force and are now working on the funding proposal.