Otakairangi wetland at sunset.

Okarika Pocket Transformation

Wetlands – With Descriptor

About the Project

Living Water is partnering with landowners and Ngā Kaitiaki O Ngā Wai Māori to complete Farm Environment Plans on all 17 Fonterra and non-Fonterra farms in the Okarika sub-catchment. These plans will help landowners and experts identify and co-design priority projects that improve agreed freshwater outcomes. Priority projects will be implemented and monitored, then case studies and costings shared with others to accelerate the uptake of solutions across the Wairua River catchment and Northland.


  • Reduction in sediment loads entering Wairua River, Wairoa River and ultimately the Kaipara Harbour
  • Improved freshwater ecosystems
  • Greater lowland ecological resilience
  • Demonstrated use of different restoration and water management tools that could potentially be scaled up and implemented throughout the catchment


  • Project concept has been approved and the development of Farm Environment Plans is underway
  • Project planning meetings have been held involving landowners, mana whenua, and farming and environmental specialists
  • Baseline assessments and monitoring plan completed
  • Monthly water quallity monitoring is underway
  • Catchment condition survey is completed
  • Farm Environment Plans for Fonterra farmers are underway
  • Some project sites agreed with landowners and actions to fence and plant riparian areas, wetlands and seepages underway.

News updates

  • A lot of the catchment condition survey was done on e-mountain bikes - best way to get around!

It’s an important dynamic to the mahi we do. Living Water and DOC, the partnership with Fonterra; they fit the picture that we’re in. Supporting our tuna and our habitats, that’s their line of mahi, and Fonterra – we’re in a farmland, where most of Fonterra’s stakeholders are, surrounded by milking cows. It’s important for us to have them on our team.

Chantez Connor
Community meeting

Concept Development

Completed July 2017

Progress: 100%

Project Planning

Completed December 2017

Progress: 100%

Project Implementation

Started in 2018 and end mid 2023

Progress: 20%

Otakairangi aerial

What's Next

  • 6 Farm Environment Plans to be completed and further sediment reduction activity sites agreed
  • Continue monitoring
  • Implement on-farm projects identified through Farm Environment Plans