WAI Wanaka to receive part of $8m fund

Lake Hawea farmer Richard Burdon (left) with Cinta Agri Research managing director Fiona Hudson ...
Lake Hawea farmer Richard Burdon (left) with Cinta Agri Research managing director Fiona Hudson (centre) and WAI Wanaka chairwoman Mandy Bell, when WAI Wanaka announced they were one of three pilot studies selected in the $8 million funding for their Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao project. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A Wanaka-based organisation has been selected as one of three pilot studies around the country to receive funding in an $8 million two-year programme.

WAI Wanaka announced on Monday it had received funding from the Our Land & Water National Science Challenge to revitalise their Knowledge into Action for Te Taiao project, working with landowners, iwi and community in the Upper Clutha.

The project will focus on integrating a range of cross-sector knowledge to inform land use and land management, alongside benefiting the environment and identifying value chain and market opportunities.

WAI Wanaka chairwoman Mandy Bell said securing the funding came down to the proactive and forward-thinking mindset of landowners in the Upper Clutha.

"Farmers in this area have been quick to address changes in the primary sector. Regular water testing has been happening for at least two years across the basin to monitor water quality on farm, [the] majority of farmers have attended carbon workshops to understand GHG emissions and know their number, and groups are working together to invest in co-ordinated control of weeds and pests," Ms Bell said.

She said the project would highlight farmers’ "positive work towards the environment".

Lake Hawea farmer Richard Burdon said the regulatory environment had been changing at an unprecedented rate in the rural sector.

"With the rising cost of business it is extremely challenging for farmers to stay ahead at the moment. Support to navigate how to implement and track changes on farm and identify potential market opportunities is a real positive for landowners in this area," Mr Burdon said.



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