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allegrow rural environmental logo

Catchment Groups


With the introduction of the new Freshwater Farm Plan regulations, there is an increased emphasis on knowing your catchment context, challenges, and values and them informing various aspects of your plan. Consequently, it is now more important than ever to establish connections with neighbouring farms to form a collective catchment group dedicated to the shared goals of your catchment and the associated waterway. By collaborating as a group, you can work towards preserving and improving the health of the catchment and its water resources.

Being part of a catchment group offers benefits such as collaboration among stakeholders, knowledge sharing, influence in decision-making, access to resources, improved environmental outcomes, and community engagement. It provides an opportunity to contribute to catchment management while benefiting from collective efforts and shared expertise.

A great example of a successful catchment group is the Mōtū Catchment Group, led by farmers, which operates in the upper Mōtū Catchment, located between Opotiki and Gisborne. The group is dedicated to safeguarding the pristine waters of the Mōtū River and promoting the preservation of the diverse surrounding biodiversity. This is achieved through initiatives such as fencing, establishing riparian planting, and ongoing conservation efforts.

There are a number of taonga present in the Mōtū catchment – it is the last remaining stronghold of the North Island Weka and it is the only place in NZ where weka and kiwi coexist.

Misty field with fenced waterway running through the middle. Mountains in the background and trees and shrubs in the foreground.

Other treasured species in the area include:

  • Tuatara
  • Whio
  • Toutouwai
  • Native Fish
  • Invertebrates
  • Short Tailed Bats
  • Long Tailed Bats
  • Hochstetter’s Frog
  • Karearea
  • Trout

The primary focus of the Mōtū Catchment Group lies in stabilising the banks of the Mōtū River and its tributaries. Through the implementation of fencing, establishment of riparian planting, and effective weed control measures, they aim to enhance the overall health and resilience of these riverbanks. The work being carried out is an extension of the project funded by MPI’s erosion control fund.

To date, the group has constructed 30km of fences and planted 106,058 trees.

For more information or to get in touch, check out their website:

Group of catchment members sitting on grassy hill all looking in same direction. Blue sky in the background.