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Community Day for Waterways

WOW MAP Chair Justin King alongside Associate Professor Ranvir Singh and Professor David Horne from Massey University

Local farmers headed to the Takapau Town Hall last week for the Maharakeke and Pōrangahau Catchment Community Day event. Many of them had brought along samples of their stream water for testing by Massey University scientists, who were there to test the samples for nitrogen and phosphorus levels and to talk to the farmers about their water results.

After an opening karakia led by Anthony Tipene Matua, the attendees were welcomed by Justin King, a Takapau farmer and chairman of the Maharakeke and Pōrangahau Catchment Group (WOW MAP). Farmers and landowners in these sub-catchments have been working together to address concerns over the health of their water for some time and in 2020 they formed the WOW MAP group. “We originally met in the woolshed, about eight or ten of us, driven by new legislation and how we were going to deal with it”, said King. “We got talking about how we could improve our waterways and from that the WOW MAPcatchment group was formed”.

King’s introduction was followed by a presentation by Associate Professor Ranvir Singh and Professor David Horne, from the School of Agriculture and Environment at Massey University. They discussed innovative catchment solutions being trialed by their team to help improve water quality.

This month, the Ministry for the Environment announced that more than $56 million of funding over three years has been committed to plug 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-lead by Associate Professor Ranvir 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.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, who fully support the project, have also committed $100,000 of funding towards it.

“At the moment, when you look at options to improve our water on farms in New Zealand we aren’t too sure what is really going to work and what is not”, said King. “We are really excited to be the Hawke’s Bay catchment group chosen to work with the Massey University Catchment Solutions Team on this project as it will give us informed direction going forward”.

The event was also attended by local iwi, conservationists, representatives from other sub-catchment groups and local and district councillors who all enjoyed the opportunity to get together and discuss all things catchment related over a shared lunch.

Here is a link to the article.

Scientists from Massey University testing local water samples at the Takapau Town Hall.

​Associate Professor Ranvir Singh discussing catchment solutions.

​WOW MAP Committee members Richard Hilson, Dan Ormond and Matt Wade with their water samples.

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