September 2023 Thriving Southland Newsletter

Welcome to our September Newsletter!

It’s been wet wet wet during the past month, with some areas of the region receiving the most rain people can remember for a good number of years.
While it is of course a critical and busy part of the farming calendar, there’s been several great Catchment Group events happening around the region. If you haven’t been able to get to an event in your neck of the woods, grab a hot drink and have a read to catch up!
A reminder that the Aparima Community Environment (ACE) Group have created an online tool compiling all the group’s research, data, project information, science and more as a farmer and community resource. The new resource is called ‘ACE at a glance online resource’ and is a free platform allowing farmers to explore the huge array of catchment information, including water quality data, GIS mapping, and case studies on sediment traps, future farm systems and good farming practice. Check out the new online tool here
We hope everyone is getting through calving and lambing in good spirits and keeping in touch with family and friends. Barbecues must be just around the corner surely!

Hedgehope Makarewa Catchment Group Photo Competition – telling our great stories

The Hedgehope Makarewa Catchment Group wants your photos! They would love to create a 2024 Community Calendar which they can sell and raise funds for a great cause (still to be decided).  All you need to do is take a photo (or lots of photos!) of all the things you love about your special part of Southland, and post it on their Catchment Group Facebook page - Hedgehope Makarewa Photo Competition Post.

Don't forget to "like" their page so you can see everyone's amazing entries too.  Due to a technical drama, you need to post your photos in the comments below the Photo Competition post pinned to the top of their Facebook page, and make sure to "like" the photos you like, and spread the word to friends and family to join in.

Photos must be original, and by posting them on the page you are giving permission for them to be included in the calendar.  Please help us share the post far and wide so we get lots of wonderful photos.

Southland Food and Fibre consultation closes

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the Southland Food & Fibre Project consultation. We had more than 80 brilliant ideas on how to diversify Southland's food and fibre industry. 

As our team reviews the ideas, workshops are up next. Together, we'll identify barriers and opportunities, and fine-tune the long list of ideas to a shorter, more refined one. 
We'll keep you posted at

Thriving Southland-sponsored scholarship recipient graduates from leadership academy

Katherine McCullum with Paddy O’Brien

Congratulations to Katherine McCullum who graduated from the Gore Leadership Academy. Pauline Smith, Training Programmes Manager from the Southland Business Chamber, said Katherine was a great participant, she contributed strongly to discussions and was open to others’ experiences as well as to sharing her own. “Thank you for supporting people in the rural community with this scholarship.” Pauline said.

The Southland Leadership Academy has been developing Southland leaders since 2019. The Leadership Academy has been delivered across Southland including Invercargill, Te Anau, Edendale, Gore, Lumsden, Otautau and on Stewart Island / Rakiura. During 2023 we will host three further intakes of 12 participants in Invercargill, plus one in Gore.

The purpose of this programme, which is completed over multi-days, is to provide leaders with the opportunity to build leadership capabilities through their own personal development and by learning from the experience of others.

Baleage wrap success

Between The Domes and AgRecovery Balewrap Recycling Pilot has been gaining momentum over the winter. Thank you to all the farmers who have supported this initiative – more than 400 tonnes of plastic have already been recycled through it which is fantastic, and we know there is still plenty more out there.
Although the free processing ended on 31 August, there are still plenty of options for you to get your plastic off farm and recycled right here in Southland.

From today (1 September) there will be a 15c/kg processing charge with wrap delivered to Recycle South's Makarewa plant.
Recycle South are open for drop off’s from 8am-4pm Tuesday to Friday at 210 Branxholme Makarewa Road.
Northern Southland Transport are continuing their involvement with this initiative and have drop off sites available in Te Anau, Mossburn and Lumsden, or can supply you with a skip bin to fill on farm. Contact Aaron on 03 249 7050 for more information around the options available and associated costs.
To help you recycle, here are some reminders about steps needed to ensure the wrap that’s being delivered is of high quality:

  • Ideally wrap should be colour sorted – this is crucial to the efficiency of processing. PVC patching tape also needs to be removed.

  • Need to continue the focus on reducing contamination – there is still large amounts of netting and organic matter being delivered.

  • Silage covers need to be cut into approximately 3m strips and stored/delivered separately from bale wrap. It is a different product and can’t be tangled up with bale wrap.

  • Care needs to be taken when loading bulk plastic – if loaders are being used to pick large piles up off the ground, they end up receiving large clumps/clods of dirt including stones and small rocks at the plant which damages the machinery.

Thanks again and keep up the good work.

Share your views and be paid $150

Fancy getting $150, and going in the draw for a further $500, by sharing your views on better understanding staff retention in the food and fibre sector. If you are an employer, you are invited to a one-hour interview at your convenience and in confidence. You'll be interviewed by one of the friendly team at Scarlatti.

Take the eligibility questionnaire now.

Makarewa Headwaters Revival Project
Phase 1: tackling feral animals in the Hokonuis

The Makarewa Headwater Catchment Group have launched a three-month project to carry out a feasibility study to understand the extent of the feral animal problem (including deer, pigs, goat, wild merino, wallabies - ungulate pests/ those with cloven hooves) in the Hokonuis. 

The study will give the Hokanui community and landowners a baseline on the number of pests, the state of the bush now, identified threatened species and eco-systems, and show the impact of large feral animals in the catchment.

Check out the new Makarewa Headwaters Catchment Group logo, created by Charlee Frew through a local competition!

Titiroa Catchment Group - Supper and have your say

More than 20 farmers met at the Fortrose Cafe for the newly formed Titiroa Catchment Group. Straight out of the blocks, the Titiroa Catchment Group have two awesome projects to get stuck into. Firstly, a detailed catchment map, which will be developed over time to create a picture of the catchment and the work that is being completed. Secondly, the development of a prioritisation plan with local Southland scientists to identify priority areas in the catchment for environmental improvement.

South Coast Catchment Group - Farm-tastic Environmental Planning Day

The South Coast Catchment Group had an enjoyable few hours at a local kitchen table working on Farm Environmental Plans, including winter grazing plan. The group were also provided with  slope and soil maps to feed into Farm Plans.

Mid Oreti Catchment Group - Mini Forest Movement working bees

August saw our sixth native plant nursery working bee for the year.  It was great to see some new faces on a wintery evening, and we sowed out manuka, flax and karamu seed trays.  Looking forward to the evenings getting longer and warmer! 

Makarewa Hedgehope Catchment Group - ‘Maps into Action’ sessions for farmers and Rural Professionals

Laptops were out, and farms were studied, in these two great sessions for farmers and Rural Professionals. These sessions helped locals and Rural Professionals use the Makarewa Hedgehope Catchment Group-created state of the art landscape susceptibility maps and help landowners (and their advisors) interpret what they tell you about your property.
The maps that cover the entire Makarewa catchment, including the Hedgehope Makarewa and Makarewa Headwaters Catchment Groups, and the eastern edge of the Mid Oreti Catchment Group, can help landowners target mitigations and make environmental decisions and investments on their properties. The platform also includes a new high-resolution, highly accurate slope map (shows paddocks, or parts of paddocks, that are over 10 degrees). This has been a massive project for this Catchment Group, and the maps are now available for free online - you can access the maps here.
You can access info on the project here. Many thanks to Land and Water Science who worked with the Catchment Groups to create the maps, to the NZIPIM who co-hosted the Rural Professionals event, and to Mo Topham who has organised and ran these sessions. There is another session on 10 October in Winton. Phone Mo Topham on 027 279 7449 to book your space.

Waikaia Catchment Group Understanding our Catchment - Water Quality Project

Waikaia Catchment Group kicked off their Understanding our Catchment Water Quality Project with Di Elliotte from Aquatech, braving a chilly Waikaia morning to complete the water quality and eDNA testing for the project.

Balfour Catchment Group - Phase Two - Targeted Solutions

The Balfour Catchment Group moved into phase two of their Targeted Solutions to Environmental Challenges Project. Tim Campbell from Tim Campbell Water Design took advantage of the fine spell of weather and made a solid start on the high resolution mapping for the project.

Glenham Catchment Group - tackling Glenham’s Willow issue

1 September from 7pm
Glenham Community Hall
Light supper provided - stick around for a cold one after!
Willows are an issue in the Glenham Catchment, and we want to tackle them as a community.  Come along to hear from Geoff Baldwin (farmer from the Pourakino Catchment) and Environment Southland about their three-year Crack Willow Eradication Project. You can also add your willow hotspots to a Glenham Catchment Map.

Mid Oreti Catchment Group - Mini Forest Movement Open Evening

(first Tuesday of every month)
Tuesday 5 September, from 4pm to 6pm
AB Lime Nursery, 10 Bend Road, Winton

All welcome to come to our monthly native plant growing working-bee evenings at the AB Lime Nursery.  Your help will go toward growing plants for the Mid Oreti Mini Forest Movement Project, which provides native plants to the local community and landowners for their planting projects. Training is provided and all ages welcome!  Stay for as little or as long as you like.

Mid Oreti Catchment Group Spring Meeting

Wednesday 27 September
Top Pub Winton – Lounge Bar

We are planning to hold our next Catchment Group meeting in September.  Come and hear about our new funding from the 2023 Westpac Watercare Project for plants and plant protectors for our Mini Forest Movement Project, and our new Mid Oreti Wetlands and Runoff Detainment Bund Project which has just had funding approved through Thriving Southland. At the meeting we will open applications for plant grants from the Mini Forest project. If you live in the Mid Oreti area and have an awesome project that you would like native plants for, come along and apply.

Hedgehope Makarewa Catchment Group – Maps into Action interactive sessions

Tuesday 10 October, from 10.30am to 1pm 
Salvation Army Hall (Dejoux road, Winton)

Building on the successful Understanding our Landscape field day held at the Miller's property in March, this session will show you how to access and use state of the art landscape susceptibility and slope maps for your property. This session will provide valuable information that can be used in your Farm Environment Plan if you live in the Hedgehope Makarewa, Makarewa Headwaters Catchment Group areas, and the eastern parts of Mid Oreti. Limited spaces.
Please RSVP to Mo Topham on 027 279 7449 to book your spot.

Lower Oreti Catchment Group Presents - Understand NAIT traceability, animal welfare and how to protect your Primary Industry

Tuesday 17 October, from 7pm
Waianiwa Hall - Waianiwa Community Club side room
All welcome - cash bar available and snacks provided

Get your questions answered and get expert tips from industry professionals. This event is supported by MPI NAIT and Animal Welfare, OSPRI, Tru-Test and Thriving Southland.
For more information call Georgie Galloway – 022 043 2770 or Sarah Thorne –
027 588 5200

There are likely to be more events in the pipeline so make sure you check out the events section on the Thriving Southland website and the Facebook page for details.
Have a great September,
Ngā mihi
Richard Kyte (Thriving Southland Project Lead) and the Thriving Southland Team


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