Media release

South Otago couple win ORC water quality award

Thursday 23 April 2015

South Otago farming couple Wilson (Wick) and Angela Wylie’s commitment to improving water quality won them the ORC Water Quality Management award at the Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) in Wanaka on Friday night.

They were among several award winners to be recognised for their contributions to environmental stewardship.

Mr and Mrs Wylie, who run a 270ha sheep and beef property Glenelgin at Tahatika, northwest of Owaka, also collected the Beef and Lamb NZ Livestock award.

They won the ORC award based on their:

  • commitment to enhancing water quality; fencing almost all of their Owaka River boundaries and some tributaries; and extensive riparian planting
  • monitoring of water quality with ORC; collaboration with Otago University and the Working Waters Trust for riparian planting advice
  • efficient nutrient management with whole farm soil testing; strategic fertiliser applications; and direct drilling to minimise soil loss
  • careful consideration of stock management around waterways and best practice winter management of soils and crops.

The ORC award judges said the Wylies were “a motivated and driven couple with a strong desire to succeed, running an efficient, and well executed sustainable operation.”

They had “an inherent understanding of the environment; wise use and consideration of natural resources; and early adoption of exemplary riparian management.’’

ORC director stakeholder engagement Jane Leahy said the council’s sponsorship of a specialist water quality award as part of the BFEA Otago awards recognised the importance and necessity of community action to improve water quality in the Otago region.

“It is great to see landholders with a strong passion for the environment and a focus on improving water quality entering these awards,” Mrs Leahy said.

“The judging panel takes a thorough look at each farm. This also helps entrants make a constructive assessment of the work they have carried out.’’

“As we implement our new water quality rules, we need landholders like the Wylies, who are demonstrating excellence in environmental management, to lead from the front,” Mrs Leahy said.

For more information contact

Jane Leahy
Director stakeholder engagement
Ph 0800 474082 or 021 777785

Camille McAtamney
Otago regional co-ordinator
Ballance Farm Environment Awards
Ph 03 4183972 or 027 4183414

Wilson (Wick) and Angela Wylie
Ph 03 4158874 or 027 6783701