King Country River Care – Catchment group


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2023 Catchment Group Entry: King Country River Care

Finding local solutions for local problems is the driving force behind the team at Waikato catchment group King Country River Care.

The group is an incorporated society that takes a long-term view to caring for its environment, people and communities.

Set up in 2018, its game plan extends out to 2030, based on a philosophy of working and educating from the bottom up to get positive engagement. It was founded by King Country farmers and was self-funded for its first year, with hard work and dedication meaning it has built significantly on this model since then.

The first phase’s progress speaks for itself, with 300 farmers already involved with the group and funding provided for many environmental projects. They have completed two pilot farms, with more up and running, have played an integral role in the development of 180 farm plans and have developed relationships with iwi and the Department of Conservation.

Thousands of volunteer hours have gone into their successes to date. Among these achievements is improving the social wellbeing of farmers, sourcing funding for projects including fencing and planting, and hosting a total of 485 events over 12 months. Keeping farmers engaged is a fundamental goal across all projects.

In 2022, King Country River Care received funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ productive and sustainable land use fund and Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service’s One Billion Trees programme.

Members of the catchment group care deeply about their rural communities and want to do all they can to ensure they thrive into the future.

It wants to keep empowering people and communities to step up and take a lead, by inspiring them to be proactive about adapting to change.


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