August 3, 2023

NZARM and KMR pilot national training course

Living our values as a Jobs for Nature programme, Kaipara Moana Remediation (KMR) hosted a two-day wānanga at Te Ātiu Creek, Taporapora, in July 2023. Around 25 KMR Field Advisors and a number of partners came together for practical training on wetlands and soil erosion risk management, interwoven with mātauranga Māori approaches.

The training was developed through KMR’s partnership with the New Zealand Association of Resource Management (NZARM) which has developed a programme to build capability and capacity across the Freshwater Farm Plan advisors.

The training involved practical learning and assessment as well as teaching out in the field to complement group work and presentations. While the course was aimed at beginner and intermediate rural professionals, it also added specific Tai Tokerau and Auckland context for Kaipara Moana Remediation Field Advisors working across the seven major river systems and nine eco-districts in the 600,000-hectare (6,000km2) Kaipara Moana catchment.

Justine Daw, KMR’s Pou Tātaki attended the workshop and felt the aroha and support for those starting out in nature-based careers. “A year and a half into operations, KMR has accredited 28 local businesses and 21 nurseries, and trained 53 people as KMR Field Advisors to work with landowners and support them to take action to protect and restore the Kaipara Harbour”.  $10.3m of KMR sediment reduction projects have been completed or are underway, creating an estimated 180,000 hours of new work.  “We are now helping KMR Field Advisors to take the next step on the journey to become freshwater farm planners.  It’s really rewarding to see the wider KMR team growing and learning together”.

Matt Highway, CEO of New Zealand Association of Resource Management, said “It was a great event to be a part of and to see this partnership with KMR and NZARM start to deliver on the ground results. Everyone was positive, excited to learn and it’s great to see people beginning to understand the real work that goes into land management. We look forward to scaling such events across the country”.”

Ministry for the Environment (MfE) co-funds the KMR with $100m over 6 years through the Jobs for Nature scheme. Ilka Pelzer, MfE’s Lead Analyst for the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme came along to experience how the KMR and NZARM partnership work leads into growing people while growing trees. “This was Jobs for Nature funding in action – building capacity and capability in people and in communities.”

Katie Owen, Senior Analyst, was positive that the course offered practical learning with Te Ao Māori woven throughout, and created a space to build trusted relationships, remember history, and think about applying lessons for the future.  “We can all come together with our different perspectives and roles, but it is our joint purpose of protecting Te Taiao for future generations which binds us together in this mahi.”

The pilot courses will now be reviewed and further developed for wider application and roll-out around the country.  Those participating in the training will be invited to join the national register of freshwater farm planners that NZARM is developing, to access personalised learning and training support.

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