Would you like to know more about the health of your stream water?
The Maharakeke and Pōrangahau catchment group (Wow Map) is hosting a community day on Wednesday, May 17 from 10.30am to 3pm.
The event is open to everyone and will be held at the Takapau Town Hall. Farmers and landowners are encouraged to come along with a sample of their stream water and have it tested on-site, providing them with confidential information about the quality of their water.
The day will also see the launch of Tukutuki Land Care (TLC), an organisation set up to work with the sub-catchment groups of the Tukituki, enabling funding and action to benefit the region.
Scientists from Massey University will be at the event carrying out the water testing.
“This is a unique opportunity for farmers to find out about the health of their waterways, critical flow pathways for any nutrient and sediment run-off, and potential mitigation practices,” says Associate Professor Ranvir Singh from the School of Agriculture and Environment, who will be speaking at the event. Ranvir will be presenting innovative catchment solutions being trialled and how Massey University plans to enhance rural capabilities to achieve essential freshwater outcomes.
This month, the Ministry for the Environment announced that more than $56 million of funding over three years has been committed to plugging capability and capacity gaps so restoration and protection of our lakes, rivers and streams can be fully rolled out across Aotearoa.
Part of this funding will involve a $3 million grant to Massey University for a Catchment Solutions project, co-led by Singh and Professor David Horne.
Wow Map is one of three groups selected by Massey University for the project which will co-develop and demonstrate edge-of-field technologies to minimise contaminant losses and inform the development of resources and educational materials for farmers.
Edge-of-field technologies that may be explored include controlled drainage, woodchip bioreactors and sediment detention bunds.
“The collaborative approach will involve scientists working with the catchment community via a series of catchment workshops, field days and the co-design and co-implementation of pilot demonstrations of edge-of-field structures”, says Singh.
“We want solutions that not only work scientifically, but offer practical on-farm applications”.
Farmers and landowners in the Maharakeke and Pōrangahau catchment have been working together to address concerns over the health of their water for some time, and in 2020, they formed Wow Map.
“We formed the group with the aim of improving water health in our catchment,” says Justin King, a Takapau farmer and chairman of the group.
“We are excited about the opportunities that this collaboration will bring, both for the Maharakeke and Pōrangahau Streams and for the overall health of rivers and streams across Aotearoa”.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council fully supports the project and has committed $100,000 of funding towards it.
The event is also a celebration of the launch of Tukituki Land Care, an organisation that will provide a mechanism for collective activity that benefits the land across the Tukituki catchment. Local farmer and chairman of Tukituki Land Care, Richard Hilson, is excited to formally announce the new farmer-led organisation.
“We look forward to working collaboratively across sub-catchments to achieve positive, evidenced outcomes for Tukituki,” he said.
The community day is open to everyone and attendees are encouraged to bring their families and friends. Lunch will be provided.
“This is a great opportunity for farmers and the community to come together and learn about the health of their stream water and to connect with like-minded individuals who are passionate about preserving and protecting our waterways,” says Hilson.
“We hope the event will encourage more people to get involved in our efforts to improve the health of our local waterways, and we look forward to seeing you there.”
The Wow Map community day will be held on Wednesday, May 17 from 10.30am to 3pm at the Takapau Town Hall on Charlotte St in Takapau. All are welcome and lunch will be provided.
To RSVP and to find out more information, including on how to collect your water samples, please contact Tukituki Land Care communications co-ordinator Holly Ormond via firstname.lastname@example.org.