Our Project

Our project covers four focus areas

Best Practice and Innovation

This workstream is focused on innovative ways to deliver environmental excellence at the farm level, sub-catchment level and also nationally. Specific projects include:

  • pilot plans on a range of Lighthouse Farms, which bring together farmers who are leading the way with innovative farming approaches that have a low impact on the environment
  • developing a Digital Pan Sector Land Environment Plan.
  • working alongside primary sector groups (dairy, pastoral, forestry, horticulture) to develop Land Environment Plans templates that meet both customer specific Global GAP standards and National Environmental Standards for freshwater.
  • encouraging rapid uptake by commercial land users to develop and implement Land Environment Plans. 
  • detainment bunds and planting in the upper catchment area.

Information and Monitoring

This workstream is focused on ensuring there is robust data, research and monitoring available for landowners, hau kāinga and wider Waihi Estuary Catchment community. Specific projects include: 

  • use of drone footage and evidential capture of current state and changing state. 
  • live monitoring plan and contaminant source tracing.
  • development of a cultural monitoring programme.


This workstream is focused on creating healthy, diverse and connected habitats and ecosystems within Waihi Estuary Catchment. Specific projects include: 

  • estuarine rehabilitation. 
  • riparian corridor plan. 
  • riparian, wetland and ngāhere (forest) restoration and establishment. 
  • Facilitating access to funding, knowhow and services to carry out the above work.

Extension, Education and Community Connection

This workstream is focused on connecting landowners, hau kāinga, sector groups, volunteers and communities to our projects, to our learnings and to each other.

The pilot project involves a targeted approach to fostering active, connected and engaged communities through the establishment of Wai Kōkopu Community enabler roles. 

The role of the enabler is not to carry out consultation but to: 

  • foster effective working relationships. 
  • encourage greater involvement in the programme. 
  • facilitate the transfer of knowledge.
  • support landowners to make on-site improvements

​Our Pathway to a Healthier Catchment and Community

Through a range of support from different sources coupled with strong community enthusiasm will enliven several of the Wai Kōkopu projects to:

  • carry out the Lighthouse Farms and Pan Sector Farm Environment Plan pilot project. 
  • monitor baseline ecological health and link land, hearts, minds and hands to bring about change
  • set up sub-catchment initiatives to work on more specific water quality improvement solutions.

Take a flight over the Pongakawa

This takes you from the Top of the Pongakawa Catchment
(near Okere Falls) to the Waihi Estuary (Pukehina), tracking down the river. It will give you a chance to see the bush and forest and drystock farms mainly at the top, the land use change to horticulture in the mid catchment, then the dairy land on the flats.

What's coming up?

Our next steps are to engage with tangata whenua and the broader community on the draft strategy to form the guiding pathway for improved water quality. enhanced biodiversity and long term ecosystem health will be achieved in the catchment. 

We all have a part to play.

Further workplans will be developed in the coming months will focus on ensuring the outcomes, and vision can be delivered sustainably across space, and time.