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Collaboration Key for Canterbury Dry Land Farmers

Collaboration Key for Canterbury Dry Land Farmers

In the last couple of months over 250 farmers and their advisors have attended a range of workshops, field events and presentations across four sub-catchments in the Hurunui Waiau Zone - which fits within the area of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

The workshops included initial work around developing, designing and forming a 'Collective' for dry land farmers, linked to the Beef+Lamb NZ Farm Environment Plan and broader environmental programmes. Under the Hurunui Waiau River Regional plan, 'for farmers to continue to farm without a consent from 1 January 2017,' they will be required to be a member of a Collective or Irrigation Scheme. In addition, the Collective will need to develop an approved Environmental Management Strategy.

The Collective will report to the regional council on the performance of the properties covered under the scheme. A draft discussion paper and a draft strategy have been produced, setting out the many issues and benefits that dry land farmers are assessing - there is a recognition that working together rather than as individuals gives the catchment community a stronger voice, as these planning processes will be on-going.

NZ Landcare Trust Regional Coordinator Phil Keene said "It's good to see the dry land farmers taking a leading and proactive approach to the challenge of working in the collaborative process. Four catchment groupings have formed as part of the North Canterbury Farming Project, with approximately 120 farmers involved over the Lower Hurunui/Lower Waiau/Upper Waiau and Hawarden areas of the Zone."

The North Canterbury Farming Project assists with and informs the work plan for the Hurunui Waiau Zone Committee under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. NZ Landcare Trust's involvement revolves around project management, engaging with the farming community and helping to build community capacity. In addition to NZ Landcare Trust, funding partners include MPI's Sustainable Farming Fund, Environment Canterbury, Deer NZ, BNZ, Beef+Lamb NZ, Meridian and Ngai Tahu Farming.

For more information about the project and to access related papers and reports visit the North Canterbury Farming project page>


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