NZARM capability project

Growing our sector with you

In partnership with MfE and local government, NZARM is seeking new ways to strengthen the resource management sector in Aotearoa New Zealand, to provide opportunities for our resource management professionals, and ensure we can deliver on New Zealand’s needs now and in the future.  

Funded by MfE, the $1.3m capability improvement project works with the sector to understand current capability across the wide range of resource management skills and competencies, to identify any region-specific gaps in capacity, and to address those gaps with targeted training. 

This wide ranging project includes:

  • A new online assessment tool that will help individuals assess and improve their own capability and prepare for freshwater farm plan certification,
  • New targeted training programmes and content,
  • A Register of skilled professionals to help assess regional capacity and connect qualified professionals with land managers, councils, and clients. 

The below activities have been delivered (November 2023):

  • Training Events
    • Farm Systems (Canterbury)
    • Wetland and Waterway management (Northland)
    • Land and soils (Northland)
  • Webinars
    • Whole Farm Systems – Achieving environmental outcomes. 
    • Hill Country Erosion – Part 1.
    • The Capability and Capacity Builder for Resource Management. 
    • Hill Country Erosion Part 2.
    • Freshwater Farm Plans. 
    • Open geospatial data. 
    • The FW-FP Appointment Process.
    • Reducing Landslide Risk.
  • Mentoring Programme:
    • Development of NZARM standards for this programme. This is available to all people who work in natural resource management.
    • Training of mentors completed (1 so far)
    • Training of mentees completed (1 so far)


NZARM CAT (Beta release Decmeber 2023)

NZARM’s new Capability Assessment Tool - CAT - is a fast, independent, online assessment that provides those in the resource management sector with a personalised capability profile, opportunities for their career growth and pre-assessment for the Freshwater Farm Plan Certifier process. What you can gain: 

  • Choose from a full assessment of your competencies in 13 key areas, or focus on the core skills you will need to deliver freshwater farm plans.  
  • Get an industry-recognised record of your skill and experience, giving employers and potential new clients confidence in your expertise.  
  • Find and prepare for opportunities in resource management, with recommendations for available training courses and mentors matched to your CAT Report, career goals, and industry demand.  
  • Be an active part of MfE and NZARM’s Capability Project to plan for the future of resource management in Aotearoa New Zealand  

NZARM CAT is supported by the Ministry for the Environment and is free for all applicants. Completing the CAT gives you a year’s membership to NZARM.   

Register now for early access to NZARM CAT

Capability Development and Training

We are expanding training opportunities in freshwater management and other targeted competency areas. Based on NZARM CAT reports, we will be matching resource management professionals with mentors and training courses to share knowledge and experience to grow New Zealand’s capacity.  

New training modules are content are being developed with iwi and key partners. 

Register of Professionals

We are growing a directory of qualified professionals, so that farmers, growers and councils can find qualified freshwater management professionals and talent in their region. 

For government and planners:  
The programme will provide a detailed picture of current capability and any region-specific gaps, and to address those gaps. In the short term, this will particularly focus on regional capacity to deliver freshwater farm plans. 

For individuals and resource management consultancies: 
The Register allows identification of regional capacity gaps to inform growth and training plans.  

For land managers and farmers: 
The searchable register will allow you to find qualified professionals that meet your specific needs.  

The programme seeks to understand current capability and any region-specific gaps, and to address those gaps. We’ll be co-developing new learning opportunities by leveraging the existing capability frameworks for freshwater farm plans and creating new training content together with iwi and key partners.

Alongside the training programmes and resources, we are growing a directory of qualified professionals, so that farmers, growers and councils can find qualified freshwater management professionals and talent in their region.

Engagement with the NZARM capability programme is free to all members.

Project Background and Overview

With the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) heralding a new era in farm and pastoral land management, farmers and growers around the country need access to skill sets to help them manage their freshwater ecosystems. 

To build capability and capacity in New Zealand freshwater management, NZARM has earned $1.3 million in government funding over three years from the Essential Freshwater Fund (EFF), part of the Jobs for Nature programme. The EFF supports implementation of the Essential Freshwater reforms by investing in capability and capacity across the spectrum of roles associated with the freshwater management system. The capability-building programme timeline started in 2022 and will run until 2025.

Get Involved

Deliver with confidence, develop your career, and find new opportunities in resource management.

All resource managers, asset managers, consultants, scientists, planners and engineers are invited to register for early access to NZARM CAT, and be part of our industry's planning for the future of resource management in Aotearoa New Zealand

Questions about the Capability Project can be directed to

Sponsors and Partners





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