Whakamana Te Waituna

Partnerships – With Descriptor

About the project

Whakamana Te Waituna is a five-year, multi-partner project aimed at improving the health of Waituna Lagoon in Southland. The project includes the following work streams:

  1. Developing a landward buffer around the lagoon
  2. Designing and implementing a catchment-wide nutrient and sediment management reduction programme to protect the lagoon and its tributaries
  3. Enhancing social, cultural and environmental resilience, and improving community access to the lagoon.

Living Water is leading the nutrient and sediment reduction workstream.


  • Significant reduction in nutrient and sediment loads entering Waituna Lagoon
  • Improved freshwater ecosystems
  • Greater lowland ecological resilience


  • Whakamana Te Waituna project concept approved in April 2017
  • $12m secured for the five year project including $5m from the government’s Freshwater Improvement Fund and $7m funded by the Waituna Partners (Environment Southland, Ngai Tahu, Southland District Council, DOC and Living Water).
  • High level project planning completed by the end of 2017
  • Detailed work plans developed and implementation in progress

News updates

Cain Duncan

Cain Duncan

Fonterra Sustainable Dairying Advisor

It's a truly significant partnership not only for our region, but in terms of it's potential for similar partnerships across the country.

Cain Duncan
Jane Bowen

Jane Bowen

DOC Living Water Site Lead

I'm passionate about this project. It's going to be a game-changer for New Zealand.

Jane Bowen
Nicki Atkinson

Nicki Atkinson

South Island Manager

The Waituna lagoon is one of New Zealand's most at risk natural waterways. It will take combined efforts to ensure it's in balance with the neighbouring productive land.

Nicki Atkinson
Jono Streat in his office


Completed March 2017

Progress: 100%


Completed by December 2017

Progress: 100%


Started in early 2018 and due to end mid 2022

Progress: 10%

Courtney in meeting

What's Next

  • Project implementation