This is a mountains to sea integrated catchment management project. The project aims to achieve land management and water quality improvements across 250,000 ha of land.
The land is in multiple ownership, with approximately one quarter of the land administered by the Department of Conservation. The land spans 11 different iwi, two regional councils and five district councils. Landowner and community involvement is essential to ensuring the success of this project.
Fine views of Tauranga Harbour from
Mt Te Aroha in the Waikato
The Kaimai Range separates the Waikato from the Bay of Plenty. The Kaimai catchments disperse water into two significant water bodies, the Tauranga Harbour and the Firth of Thames; both of which are affected by land use activities in their catchments.
The forests of the ranges, remaining wetlands and other remnant natural areas within the catchments are locally important for biodiversity and they provide valuable ecosystem services to the Bay of Plenty and the Waikato.
The ranges, streams and harbours also hold significant cultural and recreational value to the people who live nearby.
The Department of Conservation, Environment Bay of Plenty and Environment Waikato all have responsibilities to protect the Kaimai catchments and the receiving harbour and estuaries. They've been exploring options for better coordination, and have come up with this project as way to engage iwi and local communities in this coordinated protection effort.
The benefits of catchment management
These catchments and the natural resources within them contribute substantially to the economic, social and cultural well being of the people in the regions. They support uses such as agriculture, horticulture, conservation, forestry, electricity generation, water supply and recreation. The management of soil, water, vegetation and fauna are important to sustain these uses into the future.
The joint-agency partnership is signed by
the two regional councils and by DOC
The project framework proposes a catchment by catchment approach to ensuring efforts have been coordinated, and that community involvement in catchment protection work is maximised.
A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) will lead and facilitate the development of the project, currently comprising representatives of the three main agencies. In future the group may include representation from the principle district councils and other bodies.
Achievements to date
- The joint agencies have commissioned a State of the Environment report available to download using the link above. This information will help to set priorities and form the basis for discussion with community groups.
- NZ Landcare Trust have secured $350,000 of Ministry for the Environment funding to employ an independent co-ordinator to lead the community engagement role of the Kaimai Catchments Project.
- Both Environment Bay of Plenty and Environment Waikato have put the project in their Ten Year Plans. All three agencies have committed resources to the project development.
- A Management Agreement has been signed between the Kaimai Catchments Working Group and the NZ Landcare Trust to work together to achieve the key community milestones for the project.
- A project coordinator has been appointed and is working for NZ Landcare Trust to drive the project forward.
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