Case study: Partnership shows the way on environmentally responsible farming

Northland Regional Council and Oromahoe Farm Trust are working in partnership to tackle erosion, improve water quality, and protect wetlands. Together, we’re delivering impressive results.

Equidistant from Kerikeri and Pakaraka is a Māori-owned farm trust that is setting the bar for environmentally responsible farming.

The Oromahoe Farm Trust has around 1,000 hectare block dedicated mainly to raising bulls and sheep.

Since 2014, the Trust has been working in partnership with Northland Regional Council on initiatives to improve its environmental sustainability.

With assistance from council funding, the Trust has worked on projects to keep stock away from waterways, fence off wetlands, and retire and replant steeply sloping areas with native vegetation.

A key project run between 2021 and 2023 retired 9.8 hectares of erosion-prone land. With funding support from the Hill Country Erosion Fund, the Trust put in 2,453 metres of fencing around the area and planted it with 28,077 manuka.

During the same period, the council also provided water quality funding for the Trust to fence off waterways with the aim of reducing sediment in the Waitangi catchment. The work included retiring 1.5 hectares of land around native bush to allow it to regenerate with native vegetation, improving water quality and biodiversity.

Other projects have included fencing off wetlands in 2018 and a stream that flows through the property in 2020.

Northland Regional Council Land Management Advisor Jenny Gillanders says the Trust has been great to work with.

“They are really easy to deal with, always responsive, and complete their fencing to a high standard,” she says.

The Oromahoe Farm Trust regularly updates its environmental plan, and Trust Chair Wiremu Tane says the support from Northland Regional Council is enabling them to exceed government expectations for environmentally responsible farming.

“We’re being responsible in terms of what the government is asking for around farming practices. Without friends like NRC, it wouldn’t have been done in the timeframe we’ve achieved.”

Wiremu says the Trust is proud to be a positive model of a high-performing Māori organisation working in an effective partnership with council.

“We’re delivering on expectations in our partnership with NRC and showing an example of what can be done. Our Trust is really appreciative of the council’s support – long live the relationship between NRC and Oromahoe Farm Trust!”

For more information about the Hill Country Erosion Fund, see our Grants for fencing and/or planting on erosion-prone land information or contact one of our land management advisors at: [email protected]