December 1, 2023
Tangowāhine farmers backing Kaipara Moana Remediation’s kaupapa
James Parsons and Travis Pymm are among the first farmers in Tangowāhine Valley to partner with Kaipara Moana Remediation (KMR) to help reduce sedimentation and siltation in the Kaipara Moana.
In fact, James is heading up a KMR Navigator project and are spreading the word to encourage their neighbouring pastoral farmers in the valley to get on board to take advantage of the KMR funding opportunity and look after the land at the same time.
Through a KMR Navigator project investment, James is soon to form and lead the Tangowāhine Catchment group which will provide field advisory, leadership and co-ordination services to the Tangowāhine catchment.
KMR has engaged AgFirst Northland (represented by James) to explore bringing the Tangowāhine Valley farmers together into a community catchment group and to help develop plans for farmers keen to access KMR funding support. James is keen for Tangowāhine farmers who are interested in learning more to reach out to him or KMR as soon as possible.
James believe it is a great opportunity for locals to get behind a common purpose and coordinated action, to play their part in reducing erosion and sedimentation, while helping restore the health and mauri of Kaipara Moana.
While only in their first tranche of KMR activity, the pair have plans to continue retiring parts of their 600-hectare farm by fencing off waterways and wetlands. The strategic planting of native grasses and trees will be phase two on a property that is home to and 500 cattle and 2000 sheep courtesy of Matauri Angus and Ashgrove Coopworth and Suftex studs.
Although they faced delays from the Cyclone Gabrielle damage to the farm followed by a chronic wet winter of 2023, they have managed to fence off 3.4km and are ramping up that activity over summer. By taking the lead, they hope to encourage neighbouring farmers to get on board.
“I feel fencing off waterways is the right thing to do. There are two immediate benefits. It gives us more paddock subdivision and better grazing management. In some places we have put fences 20 metres back from the stream banks to create a more direct fence line excluding cattle.
“Our vision is to get a community of interest going. There are 25 to 30 pastoral farmers in Tangowāhine and it would be great to get them all on board with KMR. It is a good opportunity to have up to 50% of your sediment remediation work (including fencing off waterways), while also protecting your waterways and helping the environment,” says James.
His ultimate goal would be to hold a handful of farm field days every year, learn from each other and chart the progress individual farmers are making year on year.
KMR has described 2023 as the year of planting with over a million trees in the ground or contracted to go in the ground. 2024 will still focus on native planting and waterways, and there are also new opportunities via KMR to take action in the hill country. James is keen for farmers to join in.
“KMR can support a range of options to manage erodible hill country including continuous canopy and permanent forest cover using native species or selected exotic species (e.g. eucalypts or redwoods), as well as fencing and management to support regeneration of native forest and space planting of poplars while maintaining some grazing.
“For pastoral farmers, this presents a significant opportunity to rethink farm layouts with consideration to fence lines that need replacing, as well as take care of land affected by recent floods and storms,” James continues.
KMR is keen to use Navigator Projects as a way of supporting landowners and groups across the catchment who are keen to undertake larger-scale or innovative sediment reduction projects – and to share their experience with others in their community, iwi/hapū, or sector, so that others can come on board too.
KMR is keen to hear from landowners who are thinking of fencing this summer or planting next winter.
Get in touch with KMR via email@example.com or by completing a quick expression of interest via https://kmr.org.nz/landowner-expression-of-interest/
The sooner landowners drop KMR a line, the sooner a KMR Field Advisor can be in touch to walk the land and develop a plan to unlock KMR funding.
KMR is also keen to hear from landowners interested in planting poplar poles or wands by 31 March 2024.