March 2024 Thriving Southland Newsletter

Catchment Groups across the region have been flying into action in the early stages of 2024 as ideas become brainstorms, and brainstorms become projects.
We are excited to have received several funding applications already and, with more on the way, it’s looking like it’s going to be an epic year for Catchment Group projects in Southland.
There’s a lot of energy and great leadership in our Groups, and it’s fantastic to see it channelled into inspiring community action.
Catchment Groups are always looking for new members to help keep the momentum and energy cranking, so if you’re reading this and wondering what it’s all about, please get in touch with one of our very friendly Catchment Co-ordinators! You can find their contacts here.
There’s still plenty of light in the evenings, and hopefully we get a few more sunny days in before autumn really arrives, so enjoy the newsletter and we’ll catch you again next month!

Community Trust South Grant for Catchment Group events

Massive thanks to Community Trust South who have granted

Thriving Southland $20,000 to give Catchment Groups the opportunity
to hold events. These events will aim to help with engagement and wellbeing
and to bring knowledge through different speakers talking to groups.
Talk to your Catchment Coordinator about utilising this funding for
your Catchment Group.

Catchment Groups busy at Waimumu Field Days

We were thrilled with the numbers of people who popped by to say hello and find out a little bit more about what Catchment Groups are all about at the Southern Field Days at Waimumu.
It was awesome to see so many Catchment Group members, and newbies, flowing into our stall at our site. The record attendances just show how important events like these can be, spending time with each other and connecting.

We were thrilled with the numbers of people who popped by to say hello and find out a little bit more about what Catchment Groups are all about at the Southern Field Days at Waimumu.
It was awesome to see so many Catchment Group members, and newbies, flowing into our stall at our site. The record attendances just show how important events like these can be, spending time with each other and connecting.

All go for Mid Oreti Catchment Group in 2024

Mid Oreti Catchment Group started their year with a gorgeous afternoon of summer native seed collecting.  Carex, Flax and Toetoe seeds were collected from the AB Lime wetland and sowed into ice cream tubs - minus the ice cream! People took their seeds home to plant in gardens and on farms around central Southland and others were donated to the Group’s Mid Oreti Mini Forest Movement Project.
Many thanks to AB Lime for letting us raid their lovely wetland and learn from Ainsley, Brad and Gabby.
The Mid Oreti Team are happy to host people, groups and businesses and help start them on their native plant growing journey.  They are going to keep running their monthly native plant nursery drop-in sessions and are also happy to host schools, business and community groups. Just get in touch with Ainsley 020 411 32212 or Sarah 027 588 5200.

Also, if you are keen to grow some natives for your place have a look at these two amazing guides:

  • A Central Southland Seed Collecting Calendar made by the AB Lime Team here.

  • A guide on Setting Up Your Own Native Plant Nursery by the Otago South River Care Group here

Mid Oreti have also just had their annual catch up to plan the year ahead. They always try and keep their meetings short and sweet at a good local venue, and will now make a one page A4 calendar with their plan for the year.

This includes planning a constructed wetland and runoff detainment bund Field Day, wetland workshops and events (over the year), a seed collecting and sowing session at the AB Lime native forest Motu Ngahere in April/ May, and their annual Winter Composting Barn Tour.
They would love an extra person to join the Committee after some of their team moved away from Winton. Huge thanks to Rosie and Katie for their amazing work over the past four years.

Please call Ainsley if you are keen on joining the committee, on 020 4113 2212.

Living Fossil! We found em!

Pourakino Catchment Conservation Trust, some of the Freshwater team from University of Canterbury and Dr. Jane Kitson enjoyed an afternoon focused on the Kana Kana.These fish, also known as Lamprey, are ancient fish, that have existed for more than 360 million years. There are 38 known species worldwide but only one is found in New Zealand. They are migratory fish, moving between fresh and saltwater to complete their lifecycle, which is distinctly different to New Zealand’s other migratory freshwater fish. Lamprey spend most of their lives at sea and only move into freshwater to spawn and for their juvenile life stage.

From a distance, adult lamprey could be mistaken for eels but they are easily distinguished with a closer look. Eels have jaws and teeth but the lamprey’s jawless mouth is a circular fleshy sucker. Lamprey are secretive and can be very hard to spot, often hiding during the day under logs or large rocks, or burrow into streambeds, venturing out at night to feed.

Awesome work team and so cool to have this special fish living in our local awa!

Young Kana Kana (Lamprey) and red fin bully.

Mid Oreti Catchment Group - Mini Forest Movement Native Plant Nursery drop-in session (first Tuesday of every month)

Tuesday 5 March, 4pm to 7pm, 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.

Waikaka Catchment Group

Tuesday, 12 March, 1pm start
David & Jane Puller's woolshed | Speden Road, Pukerau

Join the Waikaka Catchment Group for a discussion on how innovative thinking and unconventional methods have developed David and Jane Pullar's farm systems. Some of the topics that will be covered include: The use of summer crops instead of winter crops, soils and erosion control and alterative land use options.

Alternatives to Pine on your farm

Thursday, 14 March

- Free field days -
Want to grow some trees on your farm, but not pines? Learn about the benefits of planting alternative species. Hosted by the NZFFA, with support from Te Uru Rākau – NZ Forest Service learn what grows well and where, success and failure, costs and returns.
Enrol on the website or scan the below QR code if you want to attend a field day in your area, or learn more about them. It will take you to more information and the registration form.

Everyone is welcome. Tea and coffee will be provided.

Community Beach Clean Up

Sunday 17 March, from 1pm

Come down to the Waimatuku Stream mouth and help us tidy up our backyard.  

You can arrive via the northern entrance to Oreti Beach (4x4 vehicle required), 

For more information contact Rachael on 021 566229

  • Bring a hat, water, and a sack to collect rubbish.  

  • Ice blocks & BBQ Provided 

  • SPOT PRIZES for coolest rubbish found.

Check out the event page and save to your calendar: 

Gore Waimumu Catchment Group Slow the Flow solutions

Wednesday 10 April, 10am - 12:30pm

Join the Gore Waimumu Catchment Group and Land and Water Science, as we discuss how low-cost, natural, and locally sourced solutions can tackle the challenge of water flow our hill country land. By exploring existing sediment traps and identifying untouched areas like swales and critical source points, we'll uncover opportunities to make a big impact with small changes upstream.

Gore Waimumu Catchment Group - Southland Agri Tech Day

Thursday 2 May
Waimumu Field Days site near Gore

Experience the future of farming first hand at Southland AgriTech 2024! 

Join our dynamic community of farmers, growers, industry leaders, and agricultural experts for an event that promises to unlock the latest innovations shaping the farming landscape in Southland. 

Hosted by local farmers and supported by Thriving Southland, Southland AgriTech 2024 is your chance to explore; Energy on farm, Animal management, Biotech, Automation, and AgFutures - all aimed at increasing profit and decreasing costs, offering blue sky possibilities of AgriTech for Southland Farming. 

Check out the event page and save to your calendar:

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 March,
Ngā mihi
Richard Kyte (Thriving Southland Project Lead) and the Thriving Southland Team


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