Freshwater Farm Plans will help to enhance sustainability for NZ Wine

New Zealand Winegrowers is pleased to announce a new project to develop an industry specific tool for winegrowers to help them develop a Freshwater Farm Plan for their vineyard/property that is individualized, identifies risk and vulnerabilities from the vineyard activities, and mitigations to address them.

Credit. NZ Wine Growers Inc. Aronui Wines - freshwater farm plan
Credit. NZ Wine Growers Inc. Aronui Wines

Freshwater Farm Plans are being introduced to mitigate the impact of primary sector activity on New Zealand’s freshwater ecosystems.

Dr Edwin Massey, General Manager Sustainability New Zealand Winegrowers, says “For almost 30 years our industry has operated a unique programme that now certifies over 96% of New Zealand vineyard area as sustainable. On a global stage we are proud to be widely recognised as world leaders in sustainable wine production. We are pleased to be working to find a pathway to integrate the new requirements into our existing Sustainable Winegrowing NZ (SWNZ) programme as much as possible. For our members, this will mean minimising costs and providing comprehensive support in navigating the regulations. We see this positively, as it offers an opportunity to further enhance our industry commitment to the environment through caring for our natural waterways and the supporting ecosystems”.

“I am pleased to announce that funding has been received from the Essential Freshwater Fund, which is administered by the Ministry for the Environment. This will support us with Project Raumatatiki including education and on-the-ground advice to our members”.
Fabian Yukich, Deputy Chair – New Zealand Winegrowers, is leading Project Raumatatiki – Freshwater Farm Planning for Viticulture, alongside representatives from three grape growing regions, and central and local government to develop the project. “We are taking a collective approach to achieve the best and most efficient outcome. Our industry prides itself on being collaborative, innovative, and forward thinking. Working together on creating cleaner natural waterways is an evolutionary step for our industry and the SWNZ programme”.

Credit. NZ Winegrowers Inc - Waipara River Estate Freshwater Farm plan
Credit. NZ Winegrowers Inc – Waipara River Estate

Will Macdonald, Rangit?ne o Wairau, who sits on the governance group says, “Through Project Raumatatiki we have an opportunity to embody rangatiratanga (leading the industry in this space), kaitiakitanga (positive change to sustaining natural resources) and kotahitanga (unity among the industry for a collective purpose)”.

‘The project name Raumata?ki derives from the kupu ‘raumata?ki’ which refers to unfailing and endless freshwater springs. Here, it acknowledges the importance of our water that has and will con?nue to sustain Aotearoa and the wine industry’.

About Freshwater Farm Plans

For information please visit Freshwater farm plans | Ministry for the Environment

Press release Source:

The New Zealand Wine industry

  • New Zealand wine is exported to more than 100 countries
  • New Zealand produces just over 1% of the world’s wine
  • New Zealand wine is New Zealand’s sixth largest export good
  • New Zealand wine exports for 2023 were $2.4 billion (New Zealand Winegrowers Annual Report | New Zealand Wine (
    New Zealand is the world-leader in wine industry sustainability
  • Since 1995 Sustainable Winegrowing NZ (SWNZ) has been widely recognised as the world’s leading wine industry sustainability programme and we are proud that it was one of the first to be established in the international wine industry. Since its inception, SWNZ has had to go where there is no blueprint, and then re-invent and redefine its role in how we measure and report our impacts on the planet.
  • To the New Zealand wine community, sustainability means growing grapes and producing our world-famous wines in such a way that we can do so for generations to come. It means consumers can trust that their bottle of New Zealand wine has been made with respect for our natural world and for our people.
  • Over 96% of all vineyard area in Aotearoa New Zealand is now certified as sustainable through the SWNZ programme, with 10% also operating under recognised certified organic programmes. This is what makes our industry unique in the world.
  • The New Zealand wine industry is well-placed to be a global leader in the production of low-emission wine, even with the distances our wine needs to travel. Our industry goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 has us firmly committed to a low-emissions pathway, and exciting developments in vineyards and in wineries are already well underway.
  • More information see the 2022 Sustainability Report [here].
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