Key points from the semi-structured interviews

  • Overall a shift in awareness of stream management issues had occurred within the Waitao Valley section of the catchment. This is probably a result of three key factors;
  • Efforts of the Te Awa O Waitao Restoration Project Joint Steering Group
  • Collective submission in opposition to a proposed landfill site in the old pumice quarry
  • Formation and activities of the Waitao-Kaiate Environment Group.
  • The social effects of the project from 2004 to 2007 were restricted to those participants with properties in the Waitao Valley. Changes in awareness and perception did not appear to extend to other near-by residents. Key changes between 2004 and 2007 include:
  • An increased awareness of the role of poor stream management practices in water quality degradation. In 2004, farm management and farm run-off were not linked to water quality by most participants.
  • Increased knowledge of the impacts of land and stream management practices. However, overall knowledge was still patchy and generally lacked an integrated catchment management perspective.
  • A general acceptance of riparian planting as a mitigation measure to reduce impacts of land use and land management practices and a clear will to take action around planting waterways.
  • Social capital had increased as a result of the increased interaction between local residents through the establishment of a local environmental group and shared opposition to the landfill resource consent application at the pumice quarry. 

A report from this research is available.