March 2022 Thriving Southland Newsletter

Welcome to our March newsletter

It’s heartening to see so many Southland Catchment Group members getting together, planning ahead, and enjoying learning from each other.

There’s no doubt that 2022 is a continuation of the COVID-19 curveballs everyone has been dealing with for two years now.

We are still able to hold events under the traffic light red setting, which is important as this is where knowledge is passed on and ideas are shared. It’s great to see Groups working through the challenges of the moment and progressing their plans - we’re all looking forward to brighter times later in the year.

Thriving Southland has facilitated project funding across 27 Catchment Groups and 39 projects during its first year, ranging from small engagement and wellbeing events to innovative science work around land use capability.

We’ve already had some great events happen, from ACE stream walks to Catchment Group planning meetings to awesome get-togethers like the Lower Waiau Catchment Group BBQ and Swim (check out the photo below).

A consistent theme across Catchment Groups is gaining more in-depth understanding of where their water comes from before it reaches peoples’ properties, and where it goes before it meets the sea - and looking for opportunities for improvement with this knowledge in hand.

There are plenty of pathways to making progress in your neck of the woods, and no project is too small or too big, so please get in touch with one of our Catchment Coordinators for advice and assistance around funding.

Everything you need to know is at

Welcome to our quick video update

We're trying something a bit new for us; introducing our (less than three-minute) video updates from the Thriving Southland team. This month Richard Kyte talks about the Agmardt project (also called Understanding your landscape's resilience: Beyond Regulation). Click here to view the video.

Thriving Southland projects page updated with exciting new happenings  

Take five minutes to check out the updated projects page on our website.

During the past year Thriving Southland has supported a range of Catchment Group projects; from wellbeing initiatives such as Surfing for Farmers and Lambing/Calving get togethers, Aquavan visits, leadership training and communication workshops, winter crop trials and the Beyond Regulation Matāura Catchment Project - read more about some of these great projects here. We’ll be adding more to this page soon, so check in every now and then to see what’s happening across Southland and maybe get some ideas for your catchment.

Southern Pioneers Food Hub

This new hub has been established by a collaboration of Southland businesses and community groups to support the creation of new food products, beverages and other products from Southland.

The hub, above the Seriously Good Chocolate Company in Invercargill, includes an MPI registered test kitchen, offices and meeting and planning rooms. The commercial kitchen is available to anyone to work on food/product innovation at a subsidised rate.

In addition, the Food Hub can formulate products for you, review and offer suggestions for your food idea, get your food product sale-ready or production-ready and everything in between.

If you want to take your food idea to the next stage, then get in touch!
Jane Stanton 027 277 087

Catchment Group Profile - Three Rivers Catchment Group

When did the group start?

What area does the Group cover? 
The Three Rivers Catchment Group covers a range of rural towns and communities, including Wyndham, Edendale, Glenham, Seaward Downs and Mokoreta, and is named after the Mokoreta, Mimihau and Mataura rivers.

How many members? 
About 50

What is the makeup of the Group?

The Catchment Group has a strong sheep, beef and dairy base, as well as the Wyndham and Edendale Townships and have a close connection to Menzies College.

What projects/events and activities have been happening?
The Three Rivers Catchment Group is working with a range of stakeholders to lead the way in environmental practices and to educate and inform the community on environmental issues.
Activities including: Wyndham Show, farmer panels, field days, public meetings, farm environmental planning, Wintering Options Field Day, and Roger Dalrymple talking about benefits of Catchment Groups.

Projects underway include environmental leadership prize sponsorship for the local secondary school, and working on building engagement and growing sub-catchment groups.
Best way to get in touch?
Kevin Hall - Chair
Steven Clarke - Vice Chair
Megan King - Secretary
Group coordinator
Sandra Campbell
021 400 431‬

Catchment Group Events

Recent Events

ACE Stream Walk - Pourakino Catchment Group

The 2022 ACE Stream walks have started with a bang. The Pourakino Catchment Group hosted a great turn out.  We explored a stream that is both farm and bush feed, discussed contaminant pathways, catchment history, rainfall data, Kana Kana success and, of course, we got in the water to check out some of the life in the stream.

The ACE group has several exciting events coming up during the next few months and we would love for you to come along to check out some of the awesome work happening in the Aparima Catchment. Our second round of stream walk events has commenced, so keep an eye out for Waimatuku, Upper and Mid Aparima and Orepuki catchment events to be held during the next few months.

If you're keen to find out more check out our Facebook page for more details or email

ACE Stream Walk - Lower Aparima Catchment Group

On 9 February, the Lower Aparima Catchment Group hosted a fantastic day, with attendees learning about identifying contaminant pathways, the Stream Health Monitoring Assessment Kit (SHMAK), completing a Rapid Habitat Assessment, checking out some macroinvertebrate monitoring, and completing an eDNA test. 

Fish and Game also attended and undertook some electrofishing which is used as a tool for monitoring fish species populations without harming fish. It was great to see many people, including kids, make the time and effort to come along, due to the scheduled power outage in Thornbury!

Grow your own Natives Workshop Part 1

Short, sweet and tons of fun! 

We had an awesome night for Mid Oreti’s first native planting workshop. Twenty-four people descended on the AB Lime office wetland to learn how to gather and sow native grass seeds with AB Lime’s Ainsley and Brad.  It was great to see lots of new faces.

Key takeaways were:

  • Carex (grasses), Harakeke (NZ Flaxes) and Toetoe are good to collect now in Southland.
  • Drill holes in your containers for drainage (we used ice cream tubs), fill them up with potting mix about 3/4 full and pat down, scatter the seed and sprinkle a bit more potting mix and lightly pat. You should still be able to see the seeds.
  • Seeds are best planted fresh after they are collected, and you need to keep them moist in a semi-shaded place outdoor (so they don’t dry out too much)
  • They will germinate anywhere between a few weeks to a few months so be patient!

When these grow, the group will hold another workshop to show people how to transplant and pot up seedlings that are 3 to 5 cm tall, along with a tree seed collection event, and maybe even start a native plant swap.  Keep your eyes on the Mid Oreti Facebook page: for future events.

Effective Meetings and Engagement Workshops

This month we had the opportunity to brush up on our effective meeting skills with the help of experts Steve and Vern from Meeting and Governance Solutions. We had a great workshop full of straight-forward, practical tips, tricks and resources to help our various Catchment and community groups run really well. Thanks to everyone who attended.

Lower Waiau Catchment Group BBQ and swim

A very fun and relaxed Lower Waiau Catchment Group BBQ was held on 18 February at the Clifden bridge. Was great to catch up with everyone and talk about our exciting Catchment Group project idea... watch this space.

Upcoming events

Note: Please refer to the events page on our website for the most up to date event information, as things may be subject to change because of the COVID-19 traffic light settings, and other Government and venue requirements at the time of the event.

Mid Oreti Catchment Group – 2022 Planning Workshop  
2 March, 6pm to 8pm
Top Pub, Lounge Room - Winton

Come along and share your ideas and visions for a thriving environment in the Mid Oreti catchment. Hear about progress of projects from 2021. Everyone welcome. Supper provided. 

*Vaccine passes and masks required.
Please register on the Mid Oreti Catchment Group Facebook page -

Understanding our water quality – Mokoreta, hosted by the Mokoreta Catchment Group
9 March, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Mokoreta/Redan Hall

Join Justin Kitto, a DairyNZ water quality specialist to hear about data for the Mokoreta River, eDNA sample results and answer any questions the group may have. Light supper provided.

For more information contact:
- Matt McRae - 0274625040
- Stu Cameron - 0272886901
- Sandra Campbell, Thriving Southland 021400431


Understanding our water quality – Glenham, hosted by the Glenham Catchment Group

10 March, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Glenham Hall

Join us for a community event to start discussions about a Glenham Catchment Group. Justin Kitto, a DairyNZ water quality specialist, will be presenting available water quality data for the Glenham Catchment streams and discuss eDNA sample results. Light supper provided.
For more information contact:
- Dean Rabbidge - 0278733527
- David Clarke - 0276222325
- Sandra Campbell, Thriving Southland - 021400431


He Waka Eke Noa webinar
14 March, 7-8.30pm

Special webinar on He Waka Eke Noa (primary sector climate action partnership) for Southland Catchment Group members, run by Beef + Lamb NZ and DairyNZ
Keep an eye out on our website or Facebook page for more details.

Have a great March,

Ngā mihi

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


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