Throughout 2021 we’ve been implementing a communications action plan in response to the findings of the Living Water phone survey of stakeholders conducted in January and February this year.
Stakeholders surveyed said they wanted to know more about the results of projects taking place in the five Living Water catchments around New Zealand, trialling tools to improve freshwater quality. You specifically asked for:
- Changes to the website to make it easier to find completed trials and tools to use on-farm;
- More use of Te Reo Maori on the website;
- A programme of media releasing to promote trials and tools to a wider audience; and
- Hosting catchment activities and events and attending field days to promote Living Water’s work.
Here’s an update on what we’ve done in 2021.
One, two, three
We’ve sent out three newsletters per year to our stakeholders (including this one) and promoted the newsletters on our social media channels (see us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn). If you missed any of our newsletters, you can check them out here.
Online all the time
The website has been revised to identify the completed trials and projects, and the information on these pages has been updated, take a look here. In 2022 we’ll introduce a colour-coded system to make identifying completed trials and projects even simpler. When trials are completed, the webpages will be refreshed, and all the relevant reports posted to the website. We’ll send out email alerts to let you know when trials are completed, and the information is online.
The main headings on the website’s homepage and drop-down menus, along with headings on the major pages are now bi-lingual, in English and Te Reo Māori after consultation with iwi and certified translation of appropriate words, phrases and terminology.
Te puāwai ngātahi a te mahi pāmu me te wai māori / Farming and freshwater thriving together
Taking it to the people
We implemented a media releasing campaign, with stories and photos being released to local and national media, and farming publications. Our stories were picked up by:
- The Dominion-Post (sadly this one was print only but you can read it on our website here)
- Giant Kōkopu found in the renovated Waituna Creek, Southland Times and Stuff website
- And in the Southland Express
- FedsNews, ran five of our stories in their physical paper in 2021 and two online: Carex informing the Ararira-LII project, Freshwater and farming thriving together
- Dr Katie Collins (Freshwater Science Lead) and Dion Patterson (Waikato Peat Lakes and Pūkorokoro-Miranda Site Lead) interviewed on 23 June about Koi Carp barrier installation at Lake Ruatuna
- We got a shout out by Nic Toki (Steering Committee) on RNZ critter of the week here
You’ve got to have friends
We’re grateful to our stakeholders who shared our stories through their networks.
- Fonterra story about 8 years of Living Water here
- Dion’s hard work celebrated on the DOC Conservation Blog
- Working with Million Metres in the Kaipara, read about it and donate here
- Waimā Waitai Waiora sharing our catchment map and stories
- Provided an update for this year’s New Zealand Freshwater sciences society newsletter
Spread the word
We’ve attended conferences (mostly virtually due to covid19) and shared our insights.
- Nicki Atkinson (Impact and Partnerships Manager) and Peter Savage (Fonterra Productive Landscapes Transformation Manager) presented at the International Wetlands Virtual Conference 10-15 October Intecol
- Trish Kirkland-Smith (Steering Committee) wrote this article for World Biodiversity Summit October 2021 (Fonterra is a partner)
On the ground
Despite the challenges of covid lockdowns we were able to continue catchment work involving stakeholders and communities, and even made it to Field Days.
- Living Water on the ground at Field Days 2021
- Dion Patterson (Waikato Peat Lakes and Pūkorokoro-Miranda Site Lead) and Rose Graham (Waikato Peat Lakes and Pūkorokoro-Miranda Ranger) at Manga-o-tama Stream Planting Day with Fonterra, photos here
- Pat Hoffman (Waituna Site Lead) hosted students on a Living Water farm to learn about Waituna Lagoon, photos here
- Robin Smith (Ararira Site Lead) has been out with the Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board around Te Waihora to look at Living Water work and planting picked up by 1 Billion Trees
- Anh Nguyen (Wairua Site Lead) is on farm monthly with Ngā Kaitiaki o Ngā Wai Māori doing Water Quality monitoring and twice yearly they do a fish survey which requires lots of volunteers from the community, the most recent one was done December 1 and 2, 2021.
We know there’s more to do!
We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made improving our regular communication with our stakeholders and catchment communities. We know there’s more we could do and want to do in 2022. Please let us know if you’re not receiving the newsletter and want to be added to the mailing list or if there’s different information, photos, and videos you’d like to see on our social media channels. If there are other aspects of our communication programme you think we could improve, please contact us with your feedback. We welcome your comments and suggestions.