Output Tool Technical Report 2
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Indicators of Collective Responsibility by Catchment Groups

October 2022

This report makes some general observations about the process of developing indicators and then offers some suggested indicators for catchment groups and for support organisations.

Agencies, sector groups and catchment groups can all use their indicators – developed separately or jointly – to express
their anticipated paths and ways of measuring progress. This enables greater transparency and connection with others.

We consider that the following five factors would indicate that a catchment group is making good progress toward collective responsibility and action that will contribute to improved freshwater outcomes:
1. Catchment group members accept responsibility for, and are committed to, improving freshwater in their catchment.
2. The catchment group has specific, preferably measurable, freshwater improvement objectives for their catchment, based on objectives developed with the council or wider community.
3. The catchment group has a plan of actions that are designed to contribute to these objectives. The actions may be as individual members (e.g., farm plans), as a collective, or in cooperation with others.
4. The catchment group has a mechanism for reporting to others (e.g., tangata whenua, local community, regional council).
5. The catchment group has relationships with other parties in the catchment and seeks to connect them to the group’s objectives and actions. Important parties for relationships include: tangata whenua of the catchment, other landowners,
councils, and other interested organisations (e.g., Fish & Game, Department of Conservation, kayakers etc.).

Without progress on each of these five factors, catchment groups may do much good work but are less likely to be building collective responsibility and action to improve freshwater health with the urgency needed and expected.

Based on these factors, or on other factors identified in its own strategy, a catchment group could develop indicators of success, or at least indicators of progress. To develop these indicators, they should ask themselves: For each factor, what would we expect to see if a group is doing this? What would some progress, considerable progress and excellent progress look like? Equally, one needs to look for disconfirming evidence: What would tell us that a catchment group is not making progress on this factor?

Cawthron Report No.3842 repared for Our Land and Water National Science Challenge

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