About Living Water

Mō Living Water

About Living Water

Living Water was a 10-year partnership between Fonterra and the Department of Conservation from 2013-2023. We trialled tools and solutions to enable farming, freshwater and healthy ecosystems to thrive side-by-side.

We worked in five regions across New Zealand.

Northland, Kaipara Harbour:
Wairua River Catchment

Hauraki, Firth of Thames-Tīkapa Moana:
Pῡkorokoro-Miranda Catchment

Waikato, Peat Lakes:
Areare, Ruatuna, Rotomānuka Catchments

Canterbury, Te Waihora-Lake Ellesmere:
Ararira-LII Catchment

Southland, Awarua–Waituna:
Waituna Catchment

This partnership brought together farmers, mana whenua, scientists, councils, and local communities to make a real difference for freshwater in New Zealand. 

By combining DOC's restoration expertise with Fonterra's responsible dairying knowledge, we delivered tangible benefits to local catchments and communities, and lessons for all of New Zealand.

Find out more about DOC’s freshwater aspirations.
Find out more about Fonterra's water commitments.

Tim Brandenburg + Ngati Haua Mahi Trust

Governance/Mana Whakahaere

Both partners shared responsibility for the administration and delivery of the Living Water Programme. A joint Steering Committee of people from each organisation oversaw the partnership.

Following extensive stakeholder engagement, each of the five catchments had a strategic and annual work plan. A team of DOC and Fonterra staff at each catchment delivered the projects in the annual plan with support from other strategic partners. Progress and budgeting was reported quarterly to the joint Steering Committee.

This website and Living Water’s social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn) were the key platforms for sharing stories, successes and learnings.

Wairua DOC + Fonterra team with farmer