September 2021 Thriving Southland Newsletter

Welcome to our September newsletter!

We hope everyone is doing okay in this busy time of the year - the hints of spring are definitely helping to keep spirits up.

As this newsletter is drafted, we are all still at Level 4 across the country. We’re hearing mixed reports on how farmers and communities are faring in Southland, with some saying it’s great having the kids home and helping on farm. Others are having a harder time of it and we can never underestimate the impact of isolation and change of routine. Remember to keep checking in on neighbours and friends - we all need to look after each other - so if you’re thinking about flicking someone that text, or making that call, you know the effort is well worth it!

While it’s been a quieter time event-wise, there’s still lots of planning for future events and ongoing project work ticking away in the background. Southland now has 28 Catchment Groups, forming a network covering over 85% of the region, and this network is expanding rapidly. Check out an updated map of groups here. 

Some of the wide range of projects completed or underway during the past year include field days, community surveys, sediment trap design, water sampling, native fish surveys, ecological surveys, community events and farm environment planning. 

Our dedicated team of Catchment Coordinators is here to encourage and develop Groups, get projects off the ground and inspire community action. Get in touch if you need some support or just someone to run an idea by. 

It’s the innovations and solutions that come from rural communities that will enable us to build an exciting and sustainable future in the region. 

I also want to mention that none of what we do would be possible without funding support. We secured three-years of funding from the Ministries of Primary Industries (MPI). In a recent visit to Southland, Minister O’Connor, caught up on some of the Thriving Southland and Catchment Group activities and was impressed by both the progress and the initiatives coming from Catchment Groups.

Thriving Southland Catchment Group Video released - on YouTube too!

With Catchment Groups across Southland continuing to gain momentum, we thought we'd mark the end of our first year with the release of a promotional video that celebrates Catchment Group progress and achievements to date. This video has the potential to help us connect with new audiences, build trust and show how committed we are to creating positive change.

Thankyou to everyone who took part. The end result, which you may have already seen on our website and social media or while browsing Stuff, captures the essence of Thriving Southland and showcases our role in supporting and assisting Catchment Groups to access the resources and funding available. It features a range of familiar faces, from our very own Richard Kyte and Rachael Halder to Makarewa Headwaters Catchment Group's Dan Frew and Alexis Wadworth to the ACE Project's John White - to name a few.

 A few days ago we launched a promotional campaign to push the video (and its various versions) to a wider audience, and its magic seems to have worked, as we already have more than 230 views on YouTube and have reached more than 6600 people via Facebook. 
We're very proud of how the video has turned out so if you haven't shared the link yet with your friends, family and work connections, please feel free to forward it on.
Check out the video below: (short edit) (full version)

You can also head to the Thriving Southland YouTube page for more videos - including several of the expert talks from the ACE Future Farming Expo in June.

You can also check out the latest Hokonui Muster interview with our Senior Catchment Coordinator Rachael Halder about the launch of the video. Listen here.

Check out this lovely story about the Waikaka Stream Catchment Group
A father and daughter are working side by side to build people’s knowledge about the water quality of the Waikaka Stream. Read more here.
Great follow-up story from the ACE - Aparima Community Environment Future Farming Expo in June

Read more here

The history of Southland

For several months, we’ve been working on a resource that you asked for – a digestible presentation on the history of Southland; pre settlement, post Maori settlement and post European settlement. It was important that this was fact-based and so draws on hundreds of references – in a sense it was quite a literature review undertaking.

We’ve created this resource with a particular focus on environmental and cultural changes. It tells a compelling story so well worth a look at.
This presentation is now available for you to use. You can select slides to use within your own presentations, you can present to your Catchment Group, you can on-share the booklet with your community.

  • A designed powerpoint presentation
  • A powerpoint presentation (not designed)
  • A booklet

View the files here.

Catchment Group Profile Lower Mataura

Number of members in the Group:

Date the Catchment Group started:
Types of people in the Group:
Mix of dairy and sheep and beef farmers - all welcome
MCI testing executed by Cawthron Institute and freshwater ecologist Robin Holmes
Macroinvertebrate stream investigation community event earlier in year
Looking to organise speaker event later in year
Best way to get in touch:
Email: Chairman Mark Hamill

Catchment Group Events

ACE event - understanding more about the value of a wetland

An awesome day out in the Southland sun visiting the Peat Dome wetland at Peatview Dairies on 29 July. The group had great discussion and questions about all things peat, carbon, wetlands, farming and more. Thanks to the Fortuna Group and their team for hosting the group and a special thank you to Edwin Mabonga for capturing some amazing drone footage which can be found on the ACE Facebook page. A big thank you also to the Land Sustainability team from Environment Southland for sharing all their knowledge.

Hedgehope Makarewa Catchment Group - Community lunch

The Hedgehope Makarewa Catchment Group shared an enjoyable community lunch on 1 August, prior to calving and lambing, at Mabel Bush Hall. Families and neighbours brought a plate, and relaxed in good company. Tim Campbell and Suzanne Hanning gave a brief update as to where the joint projects between the Catchment Group and Thriving Southland are at.

Tim spoke about the catchment mapping of the 111,940 ha to determine how water moves from the top of the catchment to the bottom. The Land and Water Science group have just completed phase 1 of this project and have mapped the topography, soil types, water movement and possible sediment and soil losses. They are now onto phase 2 looking into specific areas.
Sue talked about how farmers and agronomist Natalie have completed the physical measurements for the Winter Crop Cultivation Trial, and the findings are now being collated. As a pilot project, it is hoped that it will be expanded over the coming years to get a fully controlled trial. This year’s results have gathered a huge amount of data which is now being looked at. Thanks to all the farmers who volunteered their time and farms for the trial and to the volunteers who helped Natalie collect the data, as well as the businesses who supported the project too.

Greater Dipton Catchment Group Committee meeting shapes direction

Clare Officer and Poppy Hardie led the way at the August Greater Dipton Catchment Group Committee meeting.

They covered the successes of the first year, and planned out what they are going to do for the rest of this year and well into 2022. Clare recently attended a Thriving Southland training session on making meetings fun and effective.   It would be great to hear how other people are using their training to help to run great Catchment Group (and farm team) meetings across Southland.

Otamita Catchment Group Stream Walk

It was a great turnout from the Otamita Catchment Group for their stream walk with Environment Southland on 10 August. After discovering what macroinvertebrates are living in the Otamita Catchment, Lloyd McCall chatted with the Group at the Mandeville Country Club about how the Pomahaka Catchment project got started. We look forward to seeing what the relatively new Otamita Catchment group can achieve.

Upcoming Events

NB: All events are dependent on Covid-19 alert levels - keep an eye on the Thriving Southland’s Facebook page and website and/or your own Catchment Group pages/info for updates.

Mid Oreti Catchment Group meeting and BBQ
1 September, 6 - 7.30pm

Join us at the AB Lime nursery at 6pm for a BBQ with sausages and presentation on all the exciting critters from the E-DNA results from the Winton Stream and initial details on a funding opportunity for the Group. This funding opportunity, to plant natives for various projects across the Mid Oreti Catchment Group’s area, will include the plants, knowledge and workforce. The Group will be taking their first registrations of interest at the meeting. If you have a project on your property or locally in mind we encourage you to come along and find out more.

Orauea River Catchment Group get together/community event
1 September, 7pm - 9.30pm
Come along to a community event hosted by the Orauea River Catchment Group to learn more about the unique land attributes of our area, and hear what the Pomahaka Water Care Group is up to.

Know Your Mindset. Grow Your Influence workshops September
The Agri-Women's Development Trust (AWDT)  are running an Invercargill workshop for anyone located in rural communities interested in learning how to manage uncertainty and respond to pressure.  Pretty timely considering all the changes happening out there!
It’s open to individuals, families and teams and runs across an online session (6 September) and in-person workshop in Invercargill (21 September).
Click here if you’re interested.

Marshalls Creek Rubbish Clean up
15 September, 3 - 5pm

Everyone welcome - bring a friend.  Come and help clean up Marshall's Creek - hosted by Mid Oreti Catchment Group.

"What you need to know before you sow”
Thursday 23rd September, Otautau Farm Source, 9am – 5pm
Presentations will be at 10.30am / 12.30pm / 2.30pm

Ask questions, hear an update and head into the planting season with more confidence.

Join us for a short 30 minute presentation followed by Q+A's on and about what you need to know about winter grazing and sowing crops for winter 2022. We will have rural professionals, cakes and coffee available from 9am - 5pm if you would like to call in and pick up resources and have a chat instead. 
Supported by regional council and local stakeholders.
Please register your interest to Rachael 021 566 229.

Lower Waiau Farmers catchment group meeting
27 September, 7.30pm - 10pm
Come along to the Lower Waiau Farmers Catchment Group meeting to help decide our purpose, direction and confirm a name for the Catchment Group. 
Greater Dipton Catchment Group meeting
30 September
Catchment Group meeting - more details to come.

Keep well and warm,

Ngā mihi

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


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