Theme One and Four

Theme 1: Development of a ‘pathways’ framework

What are we doing for farmers?

Theme 1, led by Katherine Dixon (Nature Positive) and Angela McFetridge (B+LNZ), is focused on identifying a clear vision for a resilient hill country future and developing guidance for farmers on how to work towards this vision at a farm and/or catchment scale. The basis for the vision originates directly from stakeholder consultation delivered through in-depth interviews with farmers and key stakeholders. 

The guidance will be presented in the form of a framework that outlines the priority areas that need to be focused on in order to move closer towards the resilient hill country futures vision. This framework has come to be known as the ‘Pathways’ Framework’- a title which recognises the intention of it being used to guide decision making for farmers and catchment groups on their journey towards greater resilience. 

Ongoing and planned research:

  • Human-centred design concepts will be used to test, refine and validate the concept vision (developed from the interview work described above) with key stakeholders.
  • Financial and non-financial metrics will be identified and then used in the development of the ‘pathways’ framework.
  • The best pathways to achieve the resilient and sustainable Hill Country Futures vision will be identified. At each step of the process, validation of the results and key insights will take place.
  • Strong partnerships (e.g. single innovating farmer, catchment groups, farmer led networks) that can promote the uptake of the ‘pathways’ framework will be formed through targeted engagements. Partners will test and validate the ‘pathways’ framework and support the roll out and adoption (buy-in) of the framework further afield by other partners/community groups.
  • Scarlatti will conduct an analysis of the economic and non-economic benefits/impacts generated by the Hill Country Futures programme.


Theme 4: Communities to Market

What are we doing for farmers?

The focus of this theme is to develop a trustworthy hill country farming story of continual improvement in the environment, animals, and people and the work is heavily intertwined with Theme 1. It will showcase how hill country farmers are demonstrating resilient and sustainable farming practices and stewardship of the land, animals and people. ​This work is being led by Katherine Dixon (Nature Positive) and Angela McFetridge (B+LNZ).

Ongoing and planned research:

  • Stories will be developed to engage and describe successful, resilient hill country farming. These stories will also illustrate how some of the obstacles to resilience can be overcome (as identified in IS 1). Stories will be centred around individuals and groups (e.g. catchment groups, Māori trusts) and incorporate aspects of work done within the other Impact Statements (e.g. success story of using legumes on hill country farms, benefits of growing native plants). The stories are likely to take the shape of case studies and be presented as articles, podcasts, videos etc.
  • The stories developed above will be circulated to farmers, stakeholders and the public using several different platforms (e.g. Hill Country Futures website, social media, etc.).
  • Stakeholders and community groups will be involved in the development of the ‘pathways’ framework (Theme 1), and this process will be used to showcase their vision for a resilient and sustainable hill country future.
  • Behavioural change over time in the Hill Country Futures programme will be demonstrated using the longitudinal online survey developed by Scarlatti. Rich data and information will be collected that will provide evaluative insights to enable stakeholders and the public/consumers to monitor the programme’s progress towards its desired outcomes. 



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