The Department of Conservation and Fonterra are working together to improve the natural habitats of five key waterways in significant dairying regions around New Zealand. Quality waterways are pivotal to maintaining the healthy environments that protect native wildlife, and also underpin a sustainable dairy industry.
DOC and Fonterra signed the 10-year/$20 million partnership agreement called Living Water in 2013. Like many of DOC’s national partnerships it involves local communities in the conservation effort, in this case including farmers, iwi, councils and environmental care groups.
The partnership also invests in research and development of new habitat enhancement and farm management techniques that will be shared with the wider farming community and other conservation providers.
The Department’s conservation advice and expertise along with Fonterra’s on-farm environmental programme and support will provide working examples of the Living Water vision – “a sustainable dairy industry as part of healthy, functioning ecosystems that together enrich the lives of all New Zealanders.”
Both organisations are making a commitment to the success of the partnership.
Fonterra is providing farmer shareholders and staff time, dairying and marketing expertise, volunteers, two full-time project managers and the programme’s operating funding. The Department is providing staff time, technical expertise, community and iwi engagement skills and a Fonterra funded full-time national project manager.
The programme has five key performance areas:
During the first 16 months, we have focused on setting up an enduring programme to achieve biodiversity and water improvements through practical community solutions.
Key programme achievements include:
Key programme focus for upcoming years is on-the-ground implementation, delivering tangible biodiversity and water quality improvements at the selected sites, including::
The aim is to significantly improve water quality and biodiversity at five waterways in key dairying regions around New Zealand.
“Our Living Water partnership with the Department of Conservation is an important part of Fonterra’s long term commitment to responsible dairying. The dairy industry depends on healthy fresh water systems and we are committed to working with our farmers, communities and others in the primary sector to develop sustainable solutions for improving and maintaining the healthy of New Zealand’s waterways “
Theo Spierings, Chief Executive Officer, Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited
“Working with Fonterra is one of a number of critical key business partnerships for the Department. Together, the two organisations can demonstrate that the application of robust ecosystems and pastoral science can improve natural condition while maintaining farm profitability.”
Lou Sanson, Director-General, Department of Conservation
Learn about the Living Water partnership:
(NB: This was produced in 2013 when the programme was launched. While the personalities have changed the partnership messages remain relevant today.)