top of page

(verb) to look after, care, protect, conserve, save.

Photo Credit: John Highton

Photo credit: John Highton

Our Story

The Tiaki Maniototo project is a continuation of the Upper Taieri Water Resource Management legacy, one of New Zealand’s first large-scale integrated catchment management initiatives.


The Upper Taieri Water Management group was instigated by Geoff Crutchley, who brought a collaboration of landowners/farmers, interested members of the public and stakeholders together in 2006 to improve the management of water resources in the Upper Taieri, which has morphed into Upper Taieri Wai.


In 2020 members of the Upper Taieri Wai group volunteered large amounts of their time to develop a funding application to the Ministry for the Environment aimed at protecting and enhancing water quality and biodiversity values across the Maniototo/Māniatoto.  This application was successful and became the Tiaki Maniototo project.

The funding agreement with MfE was signed on 12 July 2021 and shortly after a management committee (Tiaki Maniototo) was established and works began on the ground, including riparian planting trials, waterway fencing, fishery health monitoring and pest animal control.

Our mandate is to preserve, protect and enhance water quality, recreational, cultural, biodiversity and economic values in the Upper Taieri.


This is to be achieved through riparian fencing, planting, pest control and the development of a catchment management plan in consultation with farmers, Fish and Game, Herenga ā Nuku, the Department of Conservation and the Maniototo Irrigation Company.

Meet Our Team

Tiaki-Maniototo-Logo-Colour-Stacked-RGB (2)_edited.png

Janine Smith   
 Project Executive   

Janine is a farmer and leads the Tiaki Maniototo project as Executive Administrator.

She has management and governance skills and enjoys giving back to our Maniototo/Māniatoto community. 

Janine is also Secretary/Treasurer for the Maniototo A&P Society, and is Ranfurly based.


Screen Shot 2024-04-22 at 10.35.16 AM.png

 Morgan Trotter 
 Environmental Consultant   

Morgan Trotter has been involved in the Tiaki Maniototo project from the start.

He grew up alongside waterways in East Otago and has devoted his career to freshwater management and working with farmers to achieve better outcomes for the environment.

Morgan is Dunedin based and is often out on sites across Otago.




Natalie Willis   
Board Secretary  

Natalie grew up on a farm in the Far North of the North Island.  She lived abroad for many years, returning to New Zealand to raise her family in 2001. 

In 2021 visiting Central Otago for the first time she set about relocating.

Natalie brings administration and board skills to Tiaki Maniototo/Māniatoto and is enjoying being part of such a positive and well led rural catchment project.



Colin Bio Pic.JPG

Colin Delahunt  
Project Manager  

Colin grew up on the west coast of Ireland surrounded by nature. He completed his Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science in Galway, Ireland.

He spent 3 years conducting bird surveys and other ecological surveys in remote areas across Ireland where he regularly worked closely with farmers and landowners. 

Colin is based in Dunedin and regularly comes up to our Patearoa office.



bill cam copy.jpg

Bill Morris  
Communications Manager  

Bill is a documentary filmmaker and writer by trade.

Having grown up alongside rivers, he is passionate about applying his skills to improve the quality of our freshwater ecosystems.  Bill also leads our communications with external stakeholders.


Bill is Dunedin based and as he works on other photography projects is often out of his office and around Otago.




Margo Hall 
Nursery Staff

Margo grew up on a farm in the Maniototo/Māniatoto. She is married to Jeff and they have 3 children.  Jeff and Margo farm together in Patearoa with a mix of irrigated land and hill country.

Margo has worked at Clachanburn Gardens for the past 14 years. This is where her passion for plants and garden design grew.
She also runs a small floristry business from home.


In 2023 she began working at the Tiaki Maniototo/Māniatoto nursery in Patearoa.


IMG_5435 2.JPG

Caitlin Daley
Project Manager

Caitlin holds a BSc and a Post Graduate diploma in Botany, and is currently pursuing a PhD that centres on an alternative management plan for the Upper Taieri/Taiari Scroll Plains.

In her spare time she is passionate about spearfishing, hunting, and gardening which serve as outlets for her love of nature and the outdoors.

Caitlin is based in Dunedin and is often on site in our nursery in Patearoa.




Eilis Hogan  
Freshwater Scientist 

Eilis grew up on a farm on the West Coast of Ireland.  She has a BSc in marine and freshwater Biology and MSc in environmental leadership. 

Eilis has been working as an ornithologist in Ireland for the past three years, before relocating to Dunedin.

Eilis is Dunedin based and works predominently on sites across the Maniototo/Māniatoto.



Dawn Sangster photo small.jpeg

Our Governance Partners

Tiaki-Maniototo-Logo-Colour-Stacked-RGB (2)_edited.png

Pete Aitken
Maniototo Farmer

Screen Shot 2024-04-04 at 11.35.22 AM.png

Jeremy Anderson
Maniototo Irrigation

Screen Shot 2024-04-04 at 11.32.58 AM.png

Kate Wilson
Upper Taieri Wai

Dawn Sangster head n shoulders.jpg

Dawn Sangster
Mantiototo Farmer

Screen Shot 2024-04-04 at 4.39.58 PM.png

Amie Pont
Herenga ā Nuku

Screen Shot 2024-04-04 at 1.24.54 PM.png

Renee Weir
Maniototo Irrigation

Screen Shot 2024-04-04 at 10.42.09 AM.png

John Highton
Fish and Game

Screen Shot 2024-04-18 at 7.12.43 PM.png

Erin Elworthy
Maniototo Farmer

bottom of page