Past freshwater health programmes

MPI supports a range of programmes that help primary industries improve freshwater management. Find out about our programmes for better dairy farming, nutrient management, catchment monitoring and irrigation.

Better dairy farming

MPI works in partnership with the dairy industry to improve freshwater management.

The Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord

The Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord was launched in July 2013. It sets out the dairy industry's commitment to New Zealand to improve water quality across 5 areas:

  • management of land bordering freshwater bodies (riparian zones)
  • nutrient management
  • effluent management
  • water use management
  • responsible conversions.

Transforming the Dairy Value Chain

The Transforming the Dairy Value Chain programme includes work to improve management of:

  • land bordering freshwater bodies (riparian zones)
  • nutrients
  • effluent.

Every region now has a riparian planting guideline which will help farmers meet goals under the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management.

Transforming the Dairy Value Chain is a Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme. The PGP invests in long-term innovation programmes with industry to increase the success of primary industries and reduce their environmental impact.

Farm Systems Change

The Farm Systems Change initiative aims to close the gap between top-performing dairy farms and the rest of the industry. MPI is developing case studies of top-performing dairy farmers to understand how they have improved farm performance (social, environmental and financial) and productivity.

Nutrient management

MPI supports programmes that improve the efficiency of nutrient use on farms – improving farm productivity and reducing nutrient losses to our waterways.


OverseerFM® is a widely used strategic management tool that helps farmers and growers improve performance and reduce losses to the environment through the better use of nutrients on-farm.  

Read more about the Overseer model and OverseerFM®

Overseer website

Clearview Innovations

Clearview Innovations is a PGP programme that is developing a range of products to improve efficiency of nitrogen and phosphorous use on farms.

Pioneering to Precision

Pioneering to Precision is a PGP programme to improve the productivity of hill country sheep and beef farming through more efficient and accurate application of fertiliser. A key part of this is minimising the loss of nutrients into waterways.

Catchment monitoring

MPI supports programmes that improve our understanding of the effects of land use on river systems and estuaries.

Catchment land use for environmental sustainability (Clues)

Clues is a GIS-based modelling system to predict the effects of land use changes on water quality. MPI and NIWA developed the software with various other research organisations, and NIWA now manages it.

MPI uses the models generated by Clues to inform our policy development. We also supply data for Clues, which is available for anyone to use.

Irrigation and the environment

MPI funds a number of initiatives that support and enhance our use of natural resources, including water and soil. 

Who to contact

If you have questions about our programmes supporting freshwater management, email

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