Winter Newsletter

Kia ora,

Welcome to the winter edition of our newsletter. I hope you're staying warm out there.

I’m Paul Turner, Project Manager for Taranaki Catchment Communities, and I’d like to thank everyone who joined our recent events – online and in person. Your participation and enthusiasm mean the world to us. We've got some awesome activities and get-togethers coming up to keep the winter blues away. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates and make sure you don't miss out.

In this newsletter, you’ll learn more about the Good Farm Planning Hub and how it supports our local farmers. We’ve received amazing feedback from farmers using the Hub, and I highly recommend checking it out.

You can also read about our recent Tech Talk, some great water testing work by our Catchment Groups, our presence at Field Days, more about our Save Energy On-Farm campaign, and the super successful iNaturalist City Nature Challenge.

Happy reading!
Paul Turner, TCC Project Manager

My Leadership Journey

I recently completed the Leadership in Sustainable Business Course, which has been incredibly valuable for my role. I've gained new knowledge and skills in leadership, disaster resilience, balancing the environment and business, making sustainable changes, and thinking innovatively. The course highlighted the importance of sustainable practices for economic empowerment and community wellbeing. Plus, it improved my communication skills and understanding of nature regeneration, food security, and nutrition.

In my project, I used LiDAR to create a strategic approach to farming. By looking at environmental, economic, and social factors, we can measure the success of sustainable agriculture projects. We've established key performance indicators, milestones, and data collection methods, including LiDAR technology, to track progress and make smart adjustments. This will ensure the project is successful and sustainable.

Good Farm Planning Hub:

Empowering Taranaki Farmers

The Good Farm Planning Hub is gearing up to become an invaluable resource for Taranaki farmers. Developed by Taranaki Catchment Communities and funded by MPI’s Integrated Farm Planning Accelerator Fund, the Hub aims to simplify the complexities of farm planning, improve business sustainability, and help farmers meet regulatory requirements.

Why We Started

Farmers face an increasing number of business and regulatory challenges. To address these, the Good Farm Planning Hub offers a comprehensive collection of planning resources, workshops and expert-led discussions. This approach, rather than a rigid template, allows you to develop customised plans that align with industry and government standards. The long-term vision of the Good Farm Planning Hub is to help farmers create and maintain farm plans that promote healthy, sustainable practices. These plans will be recognised by both industry and government, reducing the need for multiple separate planning programmes.

Milestones and Progress

  • PerrinAg Workshops and Webinars: To date, we’ve held three series of eight online webinars. These sessions covered compliance modules, including freshwater, greenhouse gases, biodiversity, and more.

  • Development of the Good Farm Guide: This extensive guide, created with input from various stakeholders, provides a clear roadmap for navigating farm regulations. It was introduced through webinars and workshops during May and June, to enhance your understanding and capabilities.

Coming up soon

  • Interactive Sessions: Ongoing online and in-person sessions will continue to support farmers in using planning and reporting tools to strengthen your businesses and meet regulatory requirements. These sessions are designed to be flexible, fitting into your busy schedules.

Upcoming Events and Resources

Keep an eye on our website and social media for some very useful sessions that are coming up soon:

  • Workshops on Integrated Farm Planning (IFP): These workshops provide practical advice and hands-on training for developing and implementing farm plans.

  • Webinars and Online Resources: Our flexible learning opportunities will cover essential topics like regulatory compliance and farm business management.

Planning with FACCTs

To complement our range of resources, we've also just launched the FACCT video to introduce you to this awesome farmer-led initiative. FACCT (Farming and Compliance Confidence Taranaki) is a series of meetings and workshops that provides insights and guidance for farmers navigating Integrated Farm Planning. Visit our website to watch the video. Learn the 'why' and gain confidence in creating your own plan!

For more information, visit www.goodfarm.nz or follow our updates on Facebook and through your catchment social media pages and coordinators. We're excited to see the positive impact this initiative will have on the Taranaki farming community.

Save Energy on-Farm Campaign:

Powering Up Taranaki Farms

TCC continues to drive forward the Save Energy on-Farm campaign to help Taranaki farmers reduce their energy consumption, save money, and build more resilient and sustainable farming operations.

Why Get Involved?

There are so many reasons for our community to jump on board with the Save Energy on-Farm campaign. Whether it’s about cutting down on costs, enhancing environmental sustainability, building better on-farm resilience, or simply staying ahead of compliance regulations, we all have our own motivators. From future-proofing your farm to taking meaningful action against climate change, there’s a ‘why’ for everyone. Our goal is to show that small changes can lead to significant energy savings, benefiting both the planet and your wallet.

Collaboration and Support

We couldn’t undertake this project without Taranaki Regional Council, Federated Farmers, Venture Taranaki, EECA, Powerco and Todd Energy. Their support is invaluable, and we’re working closely with them to ensure the campaign’s success.

Why It Matters

Taranaki farmers are already working hard to ensure their farms are efficient and sustainable. Our campaign is here to provide additional support and ensure you stay ahead of the curve in energy use. Saving energy on-farm makes sense – it’s good for the environment, reduces costs and helps future-proof farming operations.

Practical Tips for Energy Efficiency

  1. Switch to LEDs: They brighten your space and lighten your bill.

  2. Use Off-Peak Power: Talk to your power supplier about off-peak rates and ask your electrician about timers to help you reap the benefits of using power when it’s cheaper.

  3. Regular Maintenance: Regularly servicing your plant equipment can help identify and resolve small issues before they become big, expensive problems.

  4. Wrap Hot Water Cylinders and Pipes: This simple step can save up to $1,500 a year and provide return on investment in just a few months.

  5. Efficient Equipment: Installing Variable Speed Drives and Flow Controllers can improve flow, protect equipment and reduce energy consumption.

  6. Solar Power: Modern solar solutions can function even on cloudy days, and when combined with timers, they can significantly reduce energy costs.

For more tips and resources, check out the Energy Saving Guides on our website at www.taranakicc.nz/taranaki-rural-energy

iNaturalist Challenge:

You Nailed It, Taranaki!

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in this year's iNaturalist City Nature Challenge. From 26 to 29 April, people all over Taranaki, including our rural areas, grabbed their smartphones and cameras to capture the incredible biodiversity around us. Your efforts have provided invaluable data for scientific research and conservation.

Whether you were snapping pics of native plants, insects, or birds, each observation contributed to a global database that helps researchers and conservationists understand and protect our environment.

Thanks to you, the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge was a big success in Taranaki. Together, we’ve made a difference and showed the world the amazing biodiversity of our region. Let’s keep the momentum going and continue to celebrate the natural beauty of Taranaki!

What's been happening

Tech Talk

At the recent Aotearoa Catchment Extension (ACE) course in Palmerston North, we highlighted the benefits of LiDAR technology. We're using this cutting-edge tool to identify flood-prone areas and other environmental risks, gearing up for better planning and mitigation.

Water Quality Warriors

The Auroa Awatuna Catchment Group, along with Waingongoro, Managamingi, Ratapiko and Tarata Catchment Groups, have been on a mission, testing water quality for the past 24 months. Their efforts are helping us understand and improve the health of our rivers and streams, meeting NPS-FM requirements along the way.

Field Day Fun

In mid-March we joined forces with the Landcare Trust, Rangitikei River Catchment Group and Whanganui Catchment Group at the Central Districts Field Days, spreading the word about Catchment Groups and freshwater issues. It was a blast sharing knowledge and strengthening our rural communities.

Setting Standards

One of the requirements of the Wai Comply project was to develop a model for standardised waterway sampling and reporting. This ensures consistency across Catchment Groups, supporting our shared goal of protecting water quality. This was presented at the Waterway Health portion of the Taranaki RegenAg forum in Stratford on 29 February. With the Wai Comply model in hand, we're ramping up our monitoring efforts and expanding our database to track water quality across the region. Together, we're setting standards for responsible freshwater management.

Stay in the Loop: For more updates and detailed reports, visit our Website and follow us on Facebook.

Lights, camera, action!

Curious about the innovative environmental work happening in Taranaki? Want to learn more about the latest agricultural practices and conservation efforts in our region? Look no further than our website, where you'll find a wide range of videos showcasing the diverse initiatives and inspiring stories that define Taranaki's rural sector.

From the Rotokare Halo Project to the Wild for Taranaki Action Hub, and from celebrating the agricultural diversity in North Taranaki to learning about energy-efficient farming practices at Niaruo Farms, our videos cover a variety of topics that highlight the dedication of our local community.

Whether you're interested in biodiversity conservation, sustainable farming, or innovative energy solutions, there's something for everyone to explore. Head over to our website today and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Taranaki's rural sector.

Haere rā (goodbye for now)!

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