In 2015, PNCET helped NZ Landcare Trust purchase stream health monitoring equipment in order to increase their work with communities to explore the health of local waterways. NZ Landcare Trust is a not-for-profit organisation whose focus is sustainable land management through community involvement. They lead grassroots initiatives across eight regions in New Zealand (Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Manawatu/Whanganui, Nelson/Marlborough, Canterbury, West Coast, Southland).
It’s the focus on ‘grassroots’ initiatives, responding to the demand from communities and groups, which leads to action on the ground that distinguishes NZ Landcare Trust from other conservation organisations. The Trust aims to provide leadership and facilitation to engage communities and empowering them to take ownership of their local and regional environment.
NZ Landcare Trust received $1500 from PNCET for the equipment to enable local communities to assess the water health of their streams. This kind of ‘citizen science’ often leads to enhanced feelings of ownership and kaitiakitanga (guardianship) which communities and groups have towards their waterways. It raises local awareness of environmental issues and motivates people to try to do more for local waterways. The Landcare Trust like to engage young people in their projects where possible by inviting school and kindergartens to help with stream-testing, ensuring new generations learn how to look after the environment.
Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Co-ordinator for the Landcare Trust, Alastair Cole, said of the project, ‘The testing kit which was purchased has been used several times, both by groups and schools and has provided an extremely useful education experience for all involved. This kit will receive continuing use and will be expanded further as the trust gets more actively involved with further citizen science initiatives in the Manawatu region’.
The Landcare Trust applied to PNCET because they could see the benefit of having this testing equipment in the local community. ‘We have all heard about the degraded state of our waterways in the Manawatu and our Trust decided to put a coordinator into this region in an effort to aid progress towards the enhancement of the region’s water bodies. So when the opportunity arose to purchase an advanced stream health monitoring kit, through contact with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), we wanted to find a way to get hold of it. Without having the grant from PNCET to purchase this kit, a great opportunity would have been lost. I’d like to thank PNCET for assisting us in purchasing the equipment for our region and aiding the NZ Landcare Trust in trying to improve our local waterways’ said Alastair.
Find out more about the local branch of NZ Landcare Trust.