July 2021 Thriving Southland Newsletter

​Hello and welcome to our July newsletter!

It’s fantastic to see the growth and evolution of Catchment Groups, especially with great projects up and running and more in the pipeline.

We’re big fans of a pot luck tea get-together during winter - food is always a great conversation starter - especially for new people who might have moved into the area in June.
During the past couple of months, it’s been rewarding to so many people willing to make time to get an inspiration boost.
The Women’s Enviro Series events in May were a huge success. See the article in the newsletter and link to a video of the event.
The ACE Future Farming Expo in June was another well attended and thought-provoking day - see an overview of the speakers’ presentation if you couldn’t make it on the day. The depth of knowledge in the primary sector, technology enabling the sector, and the importance of connecting with consumers were among the key take away messages from a great day.
We had a really good response to the six wintering drop-in sessions held in May and June. What’s even better is how Catchment Groups have been creating their own wintering days, with fantastic turnouts.
There is currently a significant focus on documenting winter grazing plans, and it’s worth remembering that that they can form part of wider farm environment plans. The next couple of months will require a bit more attention to detail to stay ahead of the game- so that forward planning will serve you well.
It’s important to acknowledge that farmers are running businesses with a range of pressures on them, so this leadership and sense of togetherness and collaboration is great to see.
A saying we really like is that ‘everybody is in a catchment, and anybody can join a Catchment Group’. This has been reinforced during the Aquavan visit to Winton, with more than 1100 students from rural and urban areas learning about catchment and coastal connections - everything is connected.
So if you meet someone new to the area or who you think would get something out of joining a Group - get them to check out the Thriving Southland website for contact details of your local Catchment Group.
We love good feedback, so thank-you for all the positivity around the programme so far.

Catchment Group Profile

Waikaka Catchment Group

PHOTO ABOVE  |  Don Moore

When was the Group started?

The Group started in 2017 and has a good mix of sheep, beef, dairy and cropping. Waikaka and Pukerau townships and schools are in our area too. We have about 50 members at the moment but are engaging with about 80-90 people in the catchment. 

How often do you meet, and where?

The eight-member working group meets every month or two at the Waikaka Sports Complex and advertises upcoming events widely. 

What projects/events is the Group working on?

We have been working on sediment traps, planting riparian areas, winter grazing paddock selection, and water testing in conjunction with Beef and Lamb NZ. A Master’s student has done a thesis investigating an integrated approach to understanding water quality in the Waikaka Stream. We’re keen to encourage people to implement good practices in ways that mitigate issues identified in the thesis. In June, we hosted had a Winter Grazing Workshop with more than 40 people attending. There was lots of good discussion around wintering plans, good management practice, and strategic grazing. 

What's the best way for people to contact you?

Email Craig McIntyre at call Craig on 027 476 1876 - we also have a Facebook group.

Women’s Enviro Series captured on video - and watch out for the next event!

The solutions are ours to own! 

We've put together a highlight video from one of our Women’s Enviro Series nights so you can see for yourself the inspiration, innovation and motivation in the room and in Southland! 

Check out the video here.

Getting more women involved in our environmental space and Catchment Groups is one of the key drivers behind the series, as well as bringing new people and information to the community and our Catchment Groups.

 Keep an eye out for our next event coming soon!

Catchment Group Events

South Coast Catchment Group Winter Grazing Good Practise Field Day

It was a beautiful sunny South Coast day at Darryl and Nicola Johnstones farm for the South Coast Catchment Group Winter Grazing Good Practise Field Day. Discussing paddock set up, plans B,s winter grazing rules, strategic grazing and winter grazing plans. Great turnout with 40 fresh faces attending. Thanks to Dairy NZ Ashley Greenwood and Environment Southland Nathen Cruikshank for sharing their knowledge with us. Great social occasion with neighbour's and an informal chat and get together. 

Wendonside Catchment Group Wintering Field Day

The Wendonside Catchment Group hosted a brilliant wintering field day last week with fantastic attendance! The group visited 3 properties and saw a mixture of stock classes in a variety of wintering settings. There was fantastic discussion and questions around what is being done differently from the past, reasons for management decisions and discussion around what could be done differently in the future. Finished up at the woolshed for a social BBQ and catchment group update.

Guest speaker at Balfour Catchment Group Meeting

Jane Smith from NOSLAM – North Otago Sustainable Land Management Group came to the Balfour Catchment Group meeting on the 10th June to share her wisdom and experience of being involved in catchment groups. Her take home messages to the large group of attendees were ‘the strength is in the group when it comes to solutions’ and ‘pick one thing and nail it’.

ACE Future Farming Expo 2021 in Otautau presents great food thinking

More than 160 people attended the Future Farming Expo 2021 in Otautau on 11 June to hear from leading experts on how the food and fibre sectors are researching, innovating and leading the way towards a sustainable future in a rapidly changing world. The expo was presented by the Catchment Groups of the Aparima Community Environment (ACE) project. Read more here. To keep up to date with ACE check out here.

Waikaka Stream Catchment Group Winter Grazing Workshop

Great farmer turnout for the Waikaka Catchment Group wintering discussion with more than 40 people attending.  Some curly questions thrown at Nathan Cruickshank and Tom Orchiston. Lots of good discussion around wintering plans, good management practice, and strategic grazing.

Mid Oreti Catchment Group Marshall Creek Stream Monitoring underway at Winton

It was a great start to the Mid Oreti Catchment Group Marshall's Creek Project on 16 June. Weather didn’t dampen the spirits at the first Marshall’s Creek stream monitoring in Winton. The Ravensdown gazebo provided cover for kids and adults as they learned how to do a Rapid Habitat Assessment (a visual assessment of a waterway), and then went off to do their sites.  Ten sites were done, and hopefully this is the start of many such events to help look after this creek that runs through the heart of Winton. 

If you have a group that is keen to try it out, get hold of Ainsley or Rosie through the Mid Oreti Catchment Group email or Facebook page

B+LNZ Farm Environment Plan Workshop proves popular

Hosting a Beef + LambNZ Farm Environment Plan workshop proved the perfect next step for the Greater Dipton Catchment Group following on from their Know Your Issues Field Day in May. On 16 June, 17 farmers spent a half day learning about stream assessments, soil analysis, greenhouse gases, biodiversity, climate change, to name a few. There were lots of indoor and outdoor activities, and all walked away with a great folder full of resources from B+LNZ.  They are getting back together on 5 July to help get their plans on paper. 

Lower Aparima Catchment Group Wintering Tour and Welcome to the District

Amazing day for our annual winter tour yesterday. Great turnout and meaningful discussions. Brilliant to see Good Farm Practices in action at all 5 farms visited. Huge thanks to the farm teams that put their hand up to have us on farm. 

More than 1100 Southland school students lap up Aquavan learning and fun

Lots of Aquavan fun was had in Winton with schools from all over the Central Southland area joining the Thriving Southland and New Zealand Marine Studies Centre Team during the last week of June. We had more than 1100 students from 19 schools take part in the discovering our catchments and coastal connection education programme. 

There was a touch tank full of marine critters, winkle racing to check predator protection response times, and a chance to discover their inner scientists whilst investigating how sediment impacts freshwater, estuarine and marine environments. Lots of kids returned with their families to enjoy the community event, and meet their local agencies and Catchment Groups who help look after their local waterways.

We have plenty of exciting events, hosted by Thriving Southland or the Catchment Groups, every month. You can find out all about new events, event updates, postponements, wet weather options, and much more by looking at the events page on our website.

Waiau Events
There's plenty going on in the Waiau over the next couple of weeks with two different get-togethers being held. If you're in the area make sure you head along to the one/s that take your interest.
Lower Waiau Farmer Discussion
Tuatapere T&C
29 June, 7.30pm.

Orauea, A New Perspective
Orawia Community Centre
7 July, 7.30pm.

Waikawa Catchment Group pest control event
1 July, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
Meet at Allan and Kathryn Marshall's Woolshed, 120 Crosbie Rd, Waikawa
For more information contact Sandra Campbell, 021 400 431 or
Come along and join the Waikawa Catchment group to learn about local pest control. Johlene Kelly from Department of Conservation and Jolie Hazley, and other staff, from Environment Southland, will be sharing their knowledge on plant, water and animal pests. Dress warmly we will be in the bush and woolshed for the afternoon.

Between the Domes event
8 July, 7.30pm
Lumsden Memorial Hall
Join us for a fascinating evening hearing compelling presenter, Keith Woodford, discuss greenhouse gasses and agriculture. Also hear the inspiring story of the Southland Charity Hospital - a community taking matters into their own hands to make a difference.
Event link:

Exploring recycling options on-farm Field day
13 July, 1.30pm
Woodlands Area - Venue TBC Waihopai       

Waihopai Catchment Group are planning an exploring recycling options on-farm field day. More information to come.

Keep well and warm,

Nga mihi

Richard Kyte (Thriving Southland Project Lead) and the Thriving Southland Team


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