The ‘Pohangina Catchment Care Group’ (PCCG) was formed in 2020 in response to a concern that there was a public perception that the Pohangina River is nothing more than a “farm drain”. It was recognised that the Pohangina catchment is an incredibly special place with a diverse population from farmers to lifestylers to forestry blocks to villagers and includes land administered by Rangitaane, the Department of Conservation & Horizons Regional Council.
- Pohangina Catchment Care Group update
Firstly, a huge THANK YOU to the Ashhurst Pohangina Lions Club for sponsoring one of the water testing sites – your support is greatly appreciated.
The PCCG held a very informative Land Owners Field Day on July 13th hosted by Matt & Shane Carroll & Nicola Shadbolt at Westview. There is a lot of new regulation being thrown at farmers currently & the purpose of the Field Day was to provide some insight into what this means going forward.
Ian McNab, a senior rural advisor from Horizons gave the first presentation. Horizons have found themselves in the unenviable position of being told they have to implement & enforce the new Government Regulations by a given time but the details in what that looks like have not been finalised and are forever changing. Horizons are wanting to work with farmers but farmers will need to be proactive in doing their bit. Ian touched on topics like intensive winter grazing, feed lots & stock holding areas, fish passage, stock exclusion regulations, freshwater plans & environment plans. These changes effect every land owner with more than 20 hectares. Horizons are currently aerial mapping some intensive winter grazing areas throughout the region so they will be able to monitor how these are being managed in the future. Ian left a supply of folders of information – if anyone would like one of these, please contact Matt or Lynda. Courtney Skou is the local Horizons Land Management Officer and she is also available to be contacted for advice on Courtney.Skou@horizons.govt.nz
Steph Sloan then did a presentation on Overseer – one of the platforms available to farmers to measure their Green House Gas emissions (a figure that farmers with a land area 80 hectares or more need to know by the end of 2022) and calculating inputs and outputs. Laura Keenan followed with a presentation of green house gases, carbon footprint and farm environment plans.
The day ended with a presentation from Paul Jansen of DOC on the planned release of kiwi into the Pohangina Valley. Paul thinks that the valley is the ideal location to reestablish a kiwi population, not up in the hills but down on farmland that is surrounded by bush areas. Kiwi enjoy foraging on farmland that has been grazed by cattle, turning over cowpats to find bugs & grubs as long as there is sheltered areas of bush for them to nest in during the day. The Southern Ruahine Kiwi Habitat Restoration Project has received funding for an extensive trapping project targeting stoats, ferrets, feral cats and possums which will also protect other threatened species in the valley including whio, native snails, long tailed bats and will improve general forest health. The goal is to release kiwi in the area in 2026.
The Pohangina Catchment Care Group would like to hold further workshops for farmers & landowners in the valley and are currently talking with Beef & Lamb about hosting several of their FarmPlan workshops. If you are interested in being involved in one of these, please contact Matt or Lynda.
The Manawatu River Catchments Collective was formed in December 2020 by the leaders of a number of catchment care groups in the Manawatu. As an Incorporated Society, MRCC aims to secure funding and provide support for the development projects that groups plan to undertake. MRCC have just received a grant from MPI to assist in the cost of some water testing & employ a co-ordinator/ facilitator who will work with the 10 existing catchment groups in the Manawatu (& any newly formed groups) to prepare operational plans so that further funding can be applied for. The Pohangina Catchment Care Group will benefit from these funds & is currently evaluating the groups goals & objectives in preparation for this plan. We may call on valley locals for a consensus vote of our operational plan soon. For the future of our group please participate. MRCC is strongly farmer driven and want to share the great environmental work that is currently being done throughout the region as well as ensuring economic and social wellbeing with any future projects.
If anyone would like further information about the Pohangina Catchment Care Group or would like one of the Horizons information folders, please contact
Matt Carroll or Lynda Gray