Healthy Ecosystem

What is an Ecosystem?

An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as weather and landscapes, work together to form a bubble of life. Human impact is by far the greatest threat to the functioning of normal ecological processes.

Our alpine freshwater ecosystems rely on clean water to thrive. The new NPS-FM recognises five components of ecosystem health that must be managed and reported on:

  1. Water quality (chemical, physical, biological)
  2. Water quantity (water flows and levels)
  3. Physical habitat (available for plants and animals)
  4. Aquatic life (animals, plants and algae present)
  5. Functioning ecosystem (interactions between them all)

Water supports our unique ecosystems

New Zealand is home to all kinds of unique ecosystems containing plants and animals that are found nowhere else in the world. Many of these ecosystems have freshwater – lakes, rivers, or wetlands – at their heart. Without healthy freshwater environments, many of our unique taonga such as fish, birds, and plants wouldn’t be able to survive.

Related links: Action for Healthy Waterways | Why Freshwater matters | Freshwater Report 2020

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WAI Wānaka at the A&P Show

Latest news: March 19th, 2021

For the first time, WAI Wānaka and nine other community organisations worked together with the Wānaka A&P Show last weekend to run a space called OUR PLACE. We used interactive and fun activities for the whole family to show how the land, water, flora, fauna, our climate, and us humans, are all connected. We all

It’s been a big year!

Latest news: December 23rd, 2020

As we start to wind down and get excited about the upcoming break, we wanted to say a huge thank you to all of our supporters, friends, stakeholders and partners like you who have helped us this year. It’s been a big year for WAI Wānaka with many people behind the scenes working extremely hard

Being a freshwater scientist

Latest news: November 26th, 2020

Melanie Vermeulen did a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Ecology. Her focus at the time was on palaeoecology and the ecological interactions that are lost with species extinction. For her thesis, she used ancient DNA analysis on moa coprolites (fossil dung) to look at diet and gastrointestinal parasites of the Little Bush Moa. How