Ararira-LII River

Ararira-LII River

About the area

The Ararira/LII River is a significant spring-fed tributary of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, New Zealand’s fifth largest lake and an important wetland ecosystem. Te Waihora has special significance to Ngāi Tahu as a tribal taonga representing a major mahinga kai and an important source of mana.

Unique features of this catchment include headwater springs, an extensive network of drains and waterways, and two wetland areas – Yarrs Flat and Yarrs Lagoon/Ta-rere-kau-tuku. The catchment’s network of highly modified waterways and remnant wetlands provide some habitat for native fish, bird and plant species although it is severely degraded.

The Challenge

In the Ararira-LII River catchment there has been a significant loss of wetland, freshwater ecosystems and lowland habitat. Water quality is poor due to high levels of suspended sediment, nutrients (phosphorous) and faecal coliforms. Much of this has been caused by various productive land uses in the catchment and modification of the waterway, wetland and lagoon hydrology for drainage purposes.

Living Water’s key focus is transforming the drain and water network into a healthy freshwater ecosystem in this productive agricultural landscape.

  • 6,600ha total catchment area
  • 50% of the catchment is dairy farms
  • 5 main types of farming (dairy, sheep, beef, deer, horticulture)
  • Only 1% of the original vegetation remains on the Canterbury Plains
Phil Musson fly-fishing

Ararira-LII River catchment

Long-term goals

50% increase in on-farm freshwater habitat

50% sediment and phosphorous reduction

100% Fonterra farms engaged

100% landowners engaged

Carex

Our team

Robin Smith

Robin Smith

DOC Site Lead
Libby Sutherland

Libby Sutherland

Fonterra Sustainable Dairying Advisor
Nicki Atkinson

Nicki Atkinson

DOC Freshwater Advisor
Sarah Yarrow

Sarah Yarrow

Living Water Programme Lead
Andy Thompson

Andy Thompson

DOC Operations Manager
Andy Roberts

Andy Roberts

DOC Operations Director
Charles Fergusson

Charles Fergusson

Fonterra Regional Head Farm Source

Our farmers

Phil Musson

Phil Musson

Fonterra Farmer
Are you part of Living Water?

Are you part of Living Water?

Contact us to have your farm acknowledged and your photo added

Our partners & friends

Catherine Febria

Catherine Febria

University of Canterbury, School of Biological Sciences
Katie Collins

Katie Collins

University of Canterbury, School of Biological Sciences
Kristy Hogsden

Kristy Hogsden

University of Canterbury, School of Biological Sciences
Brandon Goeller

Brandon Goeller

University of Canterbury, School of Biological Sciences
Andy Spanton

Andy Spanton

Selwyn District Council
Craig Pauling

Craig Pauling

Te Taumutu Rūnanga & Boffa Miskell
Greg Burrell

Greg Burrell

Instream Consulting
Stephen Brailsford

Stephen Brailsford

Brailsford Ltd
 Emily Arthur-Moore

Emily Arthur-Moore

Fish & Game Canterbury and Water & Wildlife Habitat Trust

Our projects

Supporting documents