Read about the latest happenings of the Community-led action to replenish and revitalise the health of the Waihi Estuary, Bay of Plenty.

In the Media

Fewer cows for a brighter farm future

Cutting back your milking herd by 40% in two short years may not be for the faint-hearted, but it is a leap now starting to pay dividends for Pongakawa couple Ann and Will Nettleingham.

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Dairy farmers drop cows for trees as pathway to mixed land use

Pongakawa dairy farmers Ann and Will Nettleingham have swapped out cows for trees in the past two years and provide an inspiring example of a pathway to mixed land use that ensures their farm remains viable and environmentally sustainable.

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Pongakawa on-farm agroforestry day highlights benefits of land use change

Decreasing a herd and retiring challenging land has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by a third and made farms in the Pongakawa catchment more profitable long-term, farmers and rural leaders heard at a recent field day.

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BoP farmers make gains in one of NZ’s most degraded ecosystems

Turning one of New Zealand’s most polluted water systems around is the tough job Alison Dewes expected it to be, but she remains inspired by farmers’ efforts in the past three years.

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Farmers help to restore one of New Zealand's most polluted estuaries

Farmers in Coastal Bay of Plenty have been working to help restore health to one of New Zealand's most polluted estuaries. 

Since February 2021 farmers and orchardists have planted 210 hectares of erosion-prone land with native and exotic trees and reducing nutrient and sediment loads.

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$1.45M project breathes new life into BOP estuary

A $1.45 million Jobs for Nature project in the Bay of Plenty is seeing dozens of farmers substantially reduce nutrients going into one of New Zealand's most polluted estuaries, providing inspiration for ongoing change.

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Pongakawa farm to showcase eco improvements

Bay of Plenty landowners who are curious about how to improve the water quality of local streams, rivers and estuaries are being invited to take a first-hand look at restoration efforts underway on a Pongakawa dairy farm.

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Lighthouse Farm project aiming to improve Waihī Estuary health

A project that is a shining beacon of better farming practices is to continue despite its funding coming to an end.

The Lighthouse Farm project, funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and led by community restoration group Wai Kōkopu, began in February 2021.

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Project helps farmers clean up blighted estuary

A project to support 15 Bay of Plenty farmers to transition to lower-footprint systems has contributed to improved awareness of water quality in one of New Zealand’s most degraded estuaries. 

The two-and-a-half-year lighthouse project, completed in June, was part of the ongoing Wai Kōkopu community-led programme to improve the health of the heavily impacted little Waihī Estuary at Pukehina on the Bay of Plenty coast.


Estuary planting project under way

28ha of native forest has been planted across nine farms

A mammoth native planting effort has taken place in one of the Bay’s most polluted catchments to retire marginal grazing land and help protect sensitive waterways

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Carbon-sucking native trees planted in BOP

A mammoth native planting effort has taken place in one of the Bay o Plenty's most polluted catchments to retire marginal grazing land and help protect sensitive waterways.

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Profit from change

When Alison Dewes asks farmers to reassess their environmental plan, she knows she’s asking a lot but can back it up with her own actions.

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Banks urged to step up on land-use change funding

An ex-rural banker and farm environment group trustee is calling on banks to dig deeper to support their farmer clients needing funding to help meet government freshwater standards and offset their farm’s carbon footprint. 
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Let's Look to the landscape

People who farm have always been keen observers of the land. It's a skill thats essential for responding to the day-to-day. Read more >

Dairy Exporter | ENVIRONMENT MULTI-SECTOR EMISSIONS - Joint action required

Multiple-sector farmers have to work with different environmental guidelines on emissions. It’s time for some common approaches. Sheryl Haitana reports. Read more >

Dairy Exporter | ENVIRONMENT MULTI-SECTOR EMISSIONS - Seeking equality of sector rules

A pan-sector Farm Environment Plan that caters for all land use under the same umbrella is the goal of Bay of Plenty catchment group Wai Kōkopu. Wai Kōkopu chair, dairy farmer and orchardist, Andre Hickson, wants to see landowners treated equally and fairly using sound science. Read more >

Recording your history to model your future

Sally Lee has been a skilled FARMAX user for many years, using FARMAX not only for her own farm, but in a consulting capacity as well.  Read more >

No more cows but double the returns

Keeping it simple is the guiding philosophy for Reporoa farmers Euan and Sarah McKnight. They told Steve Searle that it has led to a sustainable and profitable operation. Read more >

$1m upgrade for polluted Bay of Plenty estuary

A badly degraded estuary, that was once the main food bowl for the coastal Bay of Plenty, is set to get a $1 million upgrade.
BayTrust is committing the funds over the next three years to the effort to restore the Te Waihī estuary. Read more >

Te Waihi estuary clean up ideas sought

Wai Kokopu, made up of tangata whenua, landowners, environmental care groups, Maori agribusiness, residents and ratepayers, is committed to replenishing and revitalising the health of the estuary between Maketu and Pukehina. Read more >

$1m upgrade for polluted Bay of Plenty estuary

The trust said in a statement that unimpeded farm development and intensification of land use over time has led to the estuary's gradual decline. It's now considered one of the five most polluted estuaries in New Zealand. Find out more >

The Waihī Estuary clean-up group says working with farmers is vital

Wai Kōkopu, a group made up of tangata whenua, landowners and environmental groups with funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), is working to replenish Te Waihī estuary which is known as one of the most polluted in the country. See more from our latest planting day.


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