Get involved!

The animals and plants of Tōtaranui need your help now!

It is very easy to only think about ourselves, our house, our property and what we are doing.  Nature however works on a much larger scale and is a complex interconnected web of relationships between the land, plants, animals and the elements.

A catchment is simply the area of land surface where rain falls and drains to a common outlet like a mouth of a bay, lake, or sea. This concept is useful, because it is the scale on which many parts of the landscape work. The soil, plants, animals, and water all function together in a catchment, anything that affects one of these will also have an impact on the others. The health of catchments is vital for existence, they are our life support systems, and support the lives of all plants and animals.

Integrated catchment management recognises the importance of ecosystems and their role in supporting plant and animal life. It accounts for the complex relationships within those ecosystems including the biodiversity and ecology of stream and river systems, light, water temperature, pH, nutrient levels, and substrate that all affect the plants and animals living in the freshwater and seawater.

This is why the Tōtara for Tōtaranui project looks at the entire ecosystem from the sky to the sea (Mai i te Rangi ki te Moana). Integrated catchment management plans need to be based on sound baseline analysis of catchment water quality and other scientific and technical information to ensure people, plants, animals, and the environment all benefit. They are developed to achieve transformative change, in collaboration with landowners, iwi, industry, project partners and the community, and are clearly linked to restoration projects.

Plans are non-statutory and should not be considered as substitutes for any assessment of environmental effects or Local Authority plans, rather they coordinate catchment management activities and provide guidance on how to help protect, restore, and enhance each catchment in Queen Charlotte Sound / Tōtaranui. They are living plans since they can evolve over time as we learn what works, implement successful strategies, and continue monitoring.

The following graphics show the complexity of the existing legislation and why we believe integrated catchment management plans are essential. We are calling for research and monitoring to be coordinated with a clear understanding of how it will help inform decision making over time.

Existing legislative instruments

One estuary manager’s attempt to explain the maze of documents and entities that need to be considered in respect to a single estuary. Not all pieces or links are specified, for example, national legislation such as the Conservation Act 1987 and the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act 1941.

Source: Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Report 2020 – Managing our estuaries.

Benefits of integrated catchment management plans:

  • Community engagement is extensive and delivers on community aspirations for catchment health and results in a wide range of benefits.
  • Partners work together to integrate agreed outcomes.
  • Cultural, recreational, tourism, farming, forestry thrives alongside healthy and resilient biodiversity and ecosystems in an environmentally sustainable manner.
  • Biodiversity is enhanced by building on existing projects and expands to include habitat enhancement and ongoing protection for many species. Populations of nationally threatened species like the King Shag / Kawau a toru and the Hector’s Dolphin / Tūpoupou are secured. Other native species that have been lost can be reintroduced and given safe sanctuary.
  • Sediment production is reduced, and downstream ecosystems are able to recover.
  • Water quality is therefore improved.
  • Native and riparian planted areas are able to be established and thrive.
  • Greater diversification increases landowner and community resilience.
  • Recreational values in the catchment are greatly increased and becomes a domestic and international attraction. This will translate into additional employment opportunities and increased economic opportunities through higher visitor numbers.
  • Estuary and seagrass monitoring programmes are established as indicators for measuring the success of catchment restoration over time.
  • Identify species and habitats that require restoration and secure habitats for threatened species.
  • Work collaboratively to identify, prioritise, and implement fencing and riparian planting projects.
  • Wilding Pine control is provided a sustainable funding source.
  • Invasive weed control programme is coordinated across Queen Charlotte Sound / Tōtaranui.
  • Support and resources can be channelled to improve education at all levels using practical solutions.

We can choose what we want for the future.

We want to  protect, restore, enhance and educate.

Get involved!

The animals and plants of Tōtaranui need your help now!