NZARM’s 2023 Conference is focused on the theme of Thriving Wai, Thriving Whenua, and Thriving Communities. The theme recognises resource management is in an era of change, exploring the resources, tools and mindsets that are needed for the future.

 As part of this year’s conference, we have the opportunity for you to participate in a range of interactive masterclasses.

Each masterclass will run for 40 minutes, incorporating a presentation and interactive material. A brief description of the masterclass options can be viewed below. 

Day 1 Masterclass Options 

Click below to view a description of each masterclass.  
Landscape DNA: The Influence of the Landscape in Environmental Management

Land and Water Science (L&WS) have had the privilege of working with many Catchment Groups across New Zealand to research, analyse and share their understanding of the significant influence the landscape has on environmental management.

The Hedgehope Makarewa Catchment Group from Southland engaged L&WS to identify landscape features and settings to further support their adoption of sustainable land management practices.

The outputs of the project included a refined physiographic environment map, a refined soil map, contaminant susceptibility maps and slope maps. Join our workshop to dive into landscape settings science and to see these high resolution maps in action. 

Eagle Technology: Making open geospatial data work for you

The increasing availability of Location Data through open sources, combined with a Geographic Information System (GIS), provides a framework and process for tackling almost every kind of challenge that people need to address. This includes natural resource management activities, such as Farm Planning, via enabling valuable spatial insights and improve critical decision-making.

It all begins with data and measurement, which we then want to be able to visualise and analyse for a deeper understanding to get to those important stages of planning and designing our interventions. Making decisions about priority, how, when, and where to act and then we take that action and monitor or evaluate our outcomes.

With specific reference to Farm Planning activities, this Master Class will highlight the many and varied sources of GIS Open Data. Sources include multiband satellite imagery, local and central government planning and regulatory layers, LINZ data, national environmental datasets and LIDAR derived terrain and slope layers. You will also learn how these layers and datasets can quickly be brought together with your own data to help map, analysis, plan and manage the land.

Christchurch Envirohub: Effective engagement, facilitation and tool to grow the public’s knowledge and change their behaviour for our urban waterways.

Urban stormwater runoff is a major source of pollution in local rivers and streams, and regular water sampling in Ōtautahi/Christchurch has shown that many urban waterways regularly exceed guideline values for contaminants. Despite this, public awareness about stormwater and its pollutants remains low. The development of the Stormwater Superhero Trailer was initiated by Evan Smith of the Avon- Ōtākaro Network, who asked Environment Canterbury and Christchurch City Council to create an educational tool that could be taken to the public of Christchurch and Waitaha/Canterbury. This unique educational tool is designed to help people understand what stormwater is, where it goes, and how it affects our rivers and streams. The trailer also provides information on the key actions individuals can take to reduce stormwater pollution and protect our waterways and aims to show that rivers are taonga and an important source of mahinga kai. The Stormwater Superhero Trailer is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and was hand-built in Sydenham, Christchurch.

To roll out the trailer, a partnership project between Environment Canterbury, Christchurch City Council, Avon-Ōtākaro Network, Centre for Freshwater Management, Ōpāwaho Heathcote River Network, Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust, and the Christchurch Envirohub Trust was developed. The goal is to raise awareness and have behaviour change conversations with members of the public that will benefit our awa and moana.

It is taken to destinations that can be categorised into: commercial venues and parks where members of the public go to shop and recreate; eco destinations such as festivals; and education destinations such as libraries and field days.

At commercial venues and parks, it is a challenge for facilitators to engage with the unsuspecting public. Facilitators need to put on their best ‘game’ face and be brave to draw people into a conversation about stormwater management that is meaningful whilst positive and fun. Techniques include: a suite of hooks to get them to stop, practise your chat, in the mirror with the cat and know most people want to do the right thing.

This master class will share techniques and practise how to effectively engage the public in conversations to raise awareness and change the publics everyday behaviour for the benefit of our awa and moana. Skills will be transferable to any environmental topic where you seek to engage with the public.

Gisborne District Council: A resilient future for Tairawhiti after Hale and Gabrielle

This interactive masterclass looks at the past, present and future for cyclone affected land in the Tairawhiti region.

In 1988 Cyclone Bola devastated our region and a range of steps were undertaken over the next 30 years. Were these right?

More recently Tairawhtit has been subjected to two years of intensive rainfall events culminating in two high intensity rains in January 2023, Ex-Cyclone Hale and February 2023 Cyclone Gabrielle.

We have seen a large conversion of hill country to plantation forestry since Bola and are now seeing significant adverse effects on this sensitive land. What should have occurred on this sensitive land?

In the rush to establish plantation forestry, incentives moved away from addressing gully and streambank erosion. Pole planting on pastoral land ceased for a considerable time but what has been well targeted has been successful. The result is ongoing gully and streambank erosion on farms and forests with little protection from slash entering waterways due to the lack of riparian vegetation and control measures. While plantation species protect the land when closed canopy is created the harvest cycle creates a vulnerable period when erosion and slash mobilisation occur.

There are whole faces of mature plantation trees that have moved, filling or blocking waterways with significant damage to infrastructure and land downstream when this wood material mobilises.

We now face significant challenges and would like your feedback on:

  • Was a regional development and erosion control model the right direction?
  • Have policy, direction and funding initiatives served us well?
  • What innovations are available and what further options should we be exploring?
  • What areas of farm and forestry land have a sustainable future, what land use change is required and how do we achieve this?
  • What forest can be harvested safely, what should be replanted and what happens to the highly sensitive land which is not sustainable in clear-fell harvesting?
GNS - Science: Landscape mapping for resource managers

Landslide inventories underpin landslide hazard and risk assessments. They are essential for developing susceptibility models that predict where landslides are likely to occur based on where landslides occurred in the past and what conditions triggered them. We also need to understand the relationships between landslides and the underlying geophysical factors that control landslide susceptibility. Landslide inventories, developed by mapping landslides, provide information on the landslide triggering factors (eg. storm rainfall), as well as the geophysical factors at each landslide location. Landslide hazard assessments are greatly enhanced if they include information on the magnitude, encompassing the distribution (number and location), type, density, size and impacts of landslides, and temporal frequency of past landslide events.

Landslides can be mapped in a GIS using a variety of imagery and techniques. In this Masterclass I will cover the basics of identifying landslides in the field, landslide mapping using GIS, and landslide susceptibility assessment. I will also cover:

  • Data and imagery sources available for mapping landslides (aerial photography, satellite imagery, LiDAR etc)
  • Identifying landslide features in imagery (manual and semi-automated)
  • Identifying landslides in the field
  • Tools for landslide susceptibility and hazard mapping

Day 2 Masterclass Options 

Click below to view a description of each masterclass.  
AsureQuality - To be or Not to Be? That is Your Challenge

Certified and audited freshwater farm plans (FW FPs) will be required by almost all farms in New Zealand within a few years, and the rollout of these plans started in selected catchments in August 2023. It is through FW FPs that farmers will identify risks and develop actions to reduce the impact of farming on the freshwater environment, taking into account the specific freshwater challenges and cultural values of the local catchment.

The certifier and auditor roles are very different: certifiers assess whether a FW FP has appropriately identified and assessed on-farm risks to freshwater and ensure that the proposed actions are appropriate to improve freshwater quality. Auditors then assess whether the actions laid out in the action plan are being implemented.

Both roles require good farm systems knowledge, knowledge of the appropriate national and regional regulations, and an understanding of the cultural concepts needed to give effect to Te Mana o te Wai. However, of these two roles, certifiers will need a deeper understating of appropriate actions to mitigate the risks.

In this masterclass you will learn about the process of certifier and auditor appointment, including how applicants’ competencies are assessed, the training process (and how it varies by region), the practical assessment process, and ongoing requirements after appointment.

This session will provide insights both for those interested in becoming a certifier or auditor, and those wanting to understand the process from a regional council or other technical perspective.

These insights will be gained through putting yourself in the shoes of both an applicant attempting to demonstrate they meet the competencies required for the role, and an AsureQuality team member tasked with assessing if an applicant is the right person for the job. You’ll experience firsthand the challenges of implementing this brand-new system in a fair and robust way.

Ministry for the Environment: Demystifying Freshwater Farm Plans

The Resource Management (Freshwater Farm Plans) Regulations 2023 came into effect from 1 August 2023 in parts of Waikato and Southland, with the next regions being Otago, the West Coast and Manawatu (Horizons) in early 2024.

This facilitated interactive masterclass will provide an overview of the freshwater farm plan (FW FP) system.

It will also explain who needs a FW FP, as well as how to develop, certify and audit the plans.

It will answer what makes a FW FP different to a farm environment plan, and how to utilise the catchment context cultural values information (CCCV) that regional and unitary councils are developing.

Participants will take part in a group activity to develop a proposed FW FP action plan, based on a real farm and related CCCV information. This activity will include:

  • identifying the inherent and activity related property specific risks to freshwater,
  • identifying appropriate actions to mitigate the risks,
  • categorising actions (regulatory, catchment, supplementary) and
  • developing an achievable proposed action plan.

This masterclass will provide participants with an appreciation of how each FW FP will be different depending on farm specific risks and the catchment setting. The FW FP action plan needs to manage that farm’s contributing risks to freshwater both on farm and within the catchment it’s located in, and must be achievable within the time frames specified in the FW FP.

OverseerFM- Delivering Meaningful catchment improvements – with OverseerFM

In recent years over $200m has been invested in catchment groups by various government departments and agencies. This investment has helped to create or breathe life into catchment communities across the country.

Following a challenging few years, OverseerFM is once again thriving as the leading tool for enabling farmers and their advisors to understand nutrient cycles, nutrient losses and GHG emissions from farms. An MPI funded science program has addressed the material concerns of the science independent review panel. Over 15,000 farms now have farm accounts, with almost 9,000 of those having generated results.

Many catchment groups have progressed to a stage where they are operating as functioning community groups – providing social support to rural communities and with regular activities such as water testing and planting days. A challenge seems to remain for many to move to meaningful change in their catchments. To do so may require farm system or even land use change, and hence resistance and reluctance to engage can increase as this subject is approached.

OverseerFM provides catchment groups, and those supporting them, with the Farm groups Tool – a unique way of exploring the modelled nutrient losses at a farm level, or at a “by block” level. Different levels of visibility can be set as a group moves through trust levels and become more comfortable sharing with their peers.

The NZARM Conference master class will provide attendees with the opportunity to understand how to establish and use the Farm Groups Tool. It will allow attendees to understand what reporting is available within the tool, how to move a group through the different levels of data privacy / transparency and how to use the software to facilitate the identification of critical source blocks.

Pattle Delamore Partners - Transitioning to a Fresh Water Farm Plan

The development of a national Freshwater Farm Plan programme (FW FP) has required a change in approach to Farm Environment Plans (FEP). The freshwater farm plan process requires farmers and growers to identify on-farm risks to freshwater and to determine actions to manage those risks based on the:

  • farm’s landscape features and natural environment
  • farming activities
  • environmental health and cultural and community values of the local catchment.

This session will complement the master class on the Development of Freshwater Farm Plans and will go into more depth on topics including:

  • an introduction on why the Government has introduced a national a risk based approach;
  • identifying risks through mapping;
  • lessons learnt from the development of FEPs;
  • changing from FEPs to a more bespoke plan that identifies the risk priorities and actions to address them.

Writing actions in Freshwater Farm Plans (FWFP) will require additional information and a change in approach to the way actions were written in Farm Environment Plans (FEP or FEMP). FEPs identify industry practice or standards to manage environmental effects, FWFPs expect farmers to take further steps. The focus of FWFP is to identify regulatory, inherent (for example climate, soil, slope, drainage, ground, and surface water) and catchment risks and the actions needed to manage those risks. The appropriate actions may be addressed by an industry practice, or it may require site -specific actions to manage the risk that goes beyond standard practice.

The masterclass will include a facilitated interactive session, working in small groups on examples FEPS from different regions and primary sectors, and make changes so they meet the requirements of the FW-FP requirements. This masterclass will provide an opportunity for those involved to share knowledge with the group on what will work for the development of FWFPs for their region/industry.

Rural Support & Element Environmental: Unlock success for farmers and address their specific challenges.

The team will delve into the critical aspects of fostering positive relationships with farmers and ensuring a productive engagement. The primary focus will revolve around understanding the farmer – their values, history, and decision-making processes. Amelia and Lynda will also shed light on the various influences and barriers that may affect farmers’ current positions, encompassing compliance, knowledge, debt, time constraints, and succession planning.

They will emphasize the significance of breaking down these barriers through meaningful interactions, aligning with farmer goals, exploring win-win opportunities, and ensuring the right people are involved in the conversation. The presentation will underscore the transformation of risks into opportunities and successful conversation strategies, emphasizing the importance of knowledge, empathy, active listening, and staying engaged on the journey with the farmers.

Thank you to all sponsors for the 2023 NZARM conference!  Without you the networking, training, connecting and sharing can’t happen.

Living Water

Major Conference Partner

The Living Water partnership between Fonterra and the Department of Conservation finishes in 2023 after 10 years of working together to enable farming, freshwater and healthy ecosystems to thrive side-by-side.

This innovative partnership worked with mana whenua, farmers, scientists, councils and communities, and completed 70 projects and 44 trials of tools and approaches to restore freshwater habitats and accelerate sustainable dairying in five catchments around Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are excited to be hosting Living Water at NZARM 2023 and bringing you their partnership close out symposium and field trip, which will be an exciting round up of key projects, lessons learnt, outcomes and impact of this partnership. 

Find more out about the field trip here. 

Platinum sponsors

Ministry For The Environment
Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research

Gold Conference sponsors

Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research
Element Environmental Limited
Te Uru Rakau - New Zealand Forest Service
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