NZARM capability project

NZARM is committed to helping individuals and teams build their capability in natural resource management, with a focus on the delivery of freshwater farm plans and implementation of other key freshwater projects across Aotearoa New Zealand.

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.

NZARM is partnering with the Ministry for the Environment and regional councils in a capability-building programme spanning 2022 to 2025 to support upskilling across the sector to meet demand. We’ll do this by matching resource management professionals with new training opportunities, building a knowledge hub, and linking farmers and growers with the freshwater management expertise they need.

See MfE's press release HERE


What the programme will cover

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 programme is free to all, with training providers charging individual course fees.



Work completed to date:

  • Feedback gained from councils and industry around the country about the capability and capacity challenges faced by the sector. This content of this report is informing the programme development.
  • NZARM has held four webinars on key learning areas highlighted in the report. Watch the webinars.
  • NZARM published a special issue of Broadsheet magazine about the programme for the 2022 NZARM conference.
  • An industry update was provided at the FLRC conference; the supporting paper can be read here.
  • Master Class seminars held at the NZARM 2022 conference. Watch videos.


For the latest information on freshwater farm plan regulations, read the Ministry for the Environment's guide, or contact NZARM for more information.


What the programme means for professionals

Deliver with confidence

Based on your answers to an online questionnaire, the NZARM website will send you a personalised roadmap to link you with targeted, context-based training to develop your freshwater management skills and qualifications.

Career development

We are expanding training opportunities in freshwater management to contribute towards a recognised qualification. We will be matching individuals with peers and mentors to share knowledge and experience. In both formal and informal learning settings, the resource management workforce will be able to grow their skill set, credentials and career.

New opportunities

We are developing a national directory of capability, so that councils, resource managers, consultants, catchment groups and farmers can connect to the expert they need.


What the programme means for farmers and growers

Find the people you need

The new directory will link you to people in your region with the skill sets you need – people who can help you manage your freshwater systems. The new platform will enable you to intuitively search by location, skill and experience, according to the type of farm or agricultural block you manage.

Confidence in capability

The directory will be a network of professionals with the training and qualifications to help landowners meet the new resource management requirements.

Personnel development

Resources on the NZARM website will help in your understanding of different aspects of freshwater management, how activities affect the ecosystem, and what you can do to minimise impact.



Calling all resource managers, asset managers, consultants, scientists, planners and engineers – NZARM helps the industry network upskill and grow, and we can connect you with clients looking for environmental expertise.

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