December 20, 2022

KMR and Fonterra partnership delivers environmental action on the ground

IMAGE: KMR Pou Tātaki Justine Daw and Fonterra Farm Source Northland’s Regional Head Mike Borrie.

A partnership between Fonterra and the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme is paying dividends with dozens of Northland dairy farmers in the Kaipara Moana catchment working hard to improve the health of the harbour.

As at the end of November 2022, the Fonterra Tiaki Partnership with KMR had delivered 160 Farm Environment Plans (FEP) and committed these landowners to 111kms of fencing and planting more than 25,000 native plants near waterways. Plans for further activity are in place for 2023.

KMR Pou Tātaki Justine Daw says the collaboration with Fonterra is working exceptionally well, despite being early days.

“At the end of our first full year working together, we have made tremendous progress in encouraging dairy farmers within the Kaipara Moana catchment to fence off waterways and plant native trees to help reduce sedimentation and siltation in the harbour,” says Justine.

KMR operates on a collaborative governance model to ensure that all of the founding parties’ views are understood and factored into decision-making, while supporting landowner and community-led environmental action.

“Partnership is key to achieving our goal of fencing off and planting sediment-prone land over the 6,000km2 Kaipara Harbour catchment over ten years. KMR is now working with almost one in four of the 1500 landowners in the Kaipara Moana catchment which is really pleasing,” she says.

Fonterra Farm Source Northland’s Regional Head Mike Borrie says it is a pleasure partnering with KMR.

“It feels like we are making good progress in ensuring KMR funding grants are reaching Northland Fonterra dairy farmers to make a real difference on farm and support with meeting the key objectives of the KMR, particularly reducing sediment flowing to the Kaipara Harbour,” says Mr Borrie.

“The intention is by December 2023 that all Fonterra dairy farms in the Kaipara Catchment (66% of Fonterra’s Northland dairy farms sit in the Kaipara catchment) will have a FEP which will highlight the opportunities for additional fencing and planting that will benefit the Kaipara Harbour.”

With a lot of the fencing already completed, the focus for 2023 is to encourage dairy farmers to plant native species in the setbacks they have created through their fencing efforts. Mr Borrie says the sector is committed to being part of the solution and as a strategic partner to KMR, farmers are certainly pulling their weight.  As KMR extends its settings to target hill country erosion in 2023, it will also be able to support dairy farmers to retire steep and erodible land.

“Fonterra was already supporting our farmers in the catchment, so were in a good position to work with KMR through our team of Sustainable Dairy Advisors.

“The KMR partnership is an opportunity to accelerate and target our farm planning within the catchment, and help our farmers undertake action faster on their farms.

“We are using our systems, our team and existing relationships to assist our farmers to access KMR support to make changes needed as efficiently as possible.

“I encourage any Fonterra Dairy farmer within the catchment who is considering undertaking planting to get in touch with us through our Sustainable Dairy Advisor team. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the KMR in 2023 to achieve the ambition of a healthy Kaipara Harbour for future generations,” says Mr Borrie.

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