May 2022 Thriving Southland Newsletter

Welcome to our May Newsletter!

It’s been heartening to see how Catchment Groups have worked out ways to continue their great work during these testing times, with some unseasonal weather and on-going pandemic complexities.

The Beers and Banter events held by the Lower Aparima, 3 Rivers and Greater Dipton Catchment Groups were great opportunities for people to catch up and compare notes after a difficult start to Autumn in Southland with the drought. Supportive communities working together, with the amazing Southland Rural Support Trust on hand as well, bodes well for everyone’s wellbeing in rural areas.

Due to Omicron, there have not been many other events during April, but the work hasn’t stopped and people continue to work on projects, including understanding your landscape, water quality, , winter grazing trials and farm module plans.

There are currently 13 major, four medium and five small projects underway by Catchment Groups across Southland.

Among the big ones is the Beyond Regulation project, which is supporting and enabling Catchment Groups to lead the way towards productive and sustainable land use and to share their well-grounded knowledge and expertise throughout the Mataura catchment. Read more here.

To the west, the ACE Future Farming workstream is being designed to allow farm systems to evolve to meet changing demands, as farmers face sustainability challenges amid the need to remain profitable. Read more here.

Our Catchment Coordinators are continuing to work proactively with Catchment Groups to help ensure people feel connected with each other and in touch with both the challenges in front of them, and the solutions being worked on. More on that below.

There are some great events coming up in May so please check out the future events section below.

Give it a Go

Check out our new campaign to motivate, inspire and recognise the great work underway by Catchment Groups.

Got something you want to celebrate? Send us a great pic of what your Catchment Groups are doing and we’ll see if we can include in our campaign, running on Facebook, and through Stuff and Otago Daily Times online.

NZ Landcare Trust 'Sam The Trap Man' Southland Catchment Group videos

As reported in this newsletter before, 'Sam The Trap Man’ has been in Southland checking out our amazing Catchment Group communities. There is now a second video - with Greater Dipton Catchment Group member Sandra Prebble. Sam and Sandra discuss the leading role women play both in farming operations and in helping to engage the whole community around events and projects in their respective catchments. Sandra talks about the importance of leaving a legacy for the next generations, about how getting buy-in on new ideas can make the difference when contemplating on-farm challenges, and much more. Check the videos out here and here.   

What will Southland farming look like in the future?

The recently announced Healthy Waterways package by Central Government, He Waka Eke Noa, and the Environment Court Proceedings for the proposed Southland Water and Land Regional Plan, point towards a future where farmers will need to reduce emissions to water and air.

Southland farmers are facing sustainability challenges amid the need to remain profitable - and the ACE Future Farming workstream is designed to allow farm systems to evolve to meet these increasing needs.

New innovative ways of farming with a lower environmental footprint are needed, but these need to remain profitable. Read more here

Catchment Group Profile

Orepuki Catchment Group

‘Beautifully unique, this coastal catchment is one of a kind.’

When did the Catchment Group start?


How many people members in the Catchment Group?

Twenty and growing. The Group is very community focused group with a wide variety of people from the Orepuki catchment. Everyone is welcome!

What projects/events are underway?

The Orepuki Catchment Group is a part of the larger Aparima Catchment Group - ACE (Aparima Community Environment) project, involving several workstreams. Orepuki will be holding a number of events, meetings and activities. These include stream walks, water testing, sediment trap construction and more. Keep an eye out on the ACE Facebook page for dates and more information. We’re always open to new ideas.

What’s the best way to get in touch?

Chris Paterson at and 027 234 5148

Catchment Group Events

Recent Events

Dipton Brews and Banter event goes down a treat

An awesome night, with a fantastic turn out, was had at the Dipton Brews and Banter on 31 March at the Dipton Golf Club. Thanks again to the sponsors for supporting Southland farmers: Rabobank New Zealand, Property Brokers Southland, Sgt Dan Stockfoods Ltd, VetSouth, Open Country, Alliance Group New Zealand, Fonterra, Farmlands Co-operative and Ag Proud NZ.

Lower Aparima Brews and Banter event brings out the crowd

Riverton turned it on for the local Brews and Banter, with another great turn out and awesome night at the Riverton Rugby Club on 1 April. It was wonderful to see the community coming together in tough times. Thanks again to the sponsors for supporting Southland farmers and catchment groups: Riverton Engineering Co, Dave Halder Contracting, DTKings Ltd, Blackdale Stud, Rabobank New Zealand, Property Brokers Southland, Sgt Dan Stockfoods Ltd, VetSouth, Alliance Group New Zealand, Fonterra, Farmlands Co-operative and Ag Proud NZ.

Three Rivers Brews and Banters event a ripper

Three Rivers Catchment Group had a ripper of a brews and banter event with 100 farmers coming out to share a drink and a yarn over some delicious BBQ donated by alliance. The event couldn't have happened without the support of Rabobank, Alliance, My milk, Fonterra, Herbert's, Vetsouth and Sgt Dan. With a special Thanks to Brad Dukes for some spectacular music. Thanks to John Pemberton and AgProud for pulling a great night together. 

Between the Domes – Wetland Site Investigation Field Day

A glorious Northern Southland day came to the party on 7 April for the Between The Domes Catchment Group wetland investigation field day. The Group toured seven potential sites for their Wetland Design Project. Everyone came away from the day with some recommendations for their sites, and several will get full designs, costings, planting and management plans. A big thank you to scientists Chris and James from NIWA New Zealand and Keith from Environment Southland for their hard mahi.

Upcoming events

On Farm Biodiversity workshop - Titiroa Catchment Group

13th May from 12pm to 4.30pm

Logan and Kristie Simpson’s Woolshed, 289 Collins Road, Tokanui

The Titiroa Catchment Group welcome professor David Norton, a leading biodiversity expert. Exploring their catchment and local bush blocks, join us to understand what biodiversity really means and what we have in our catchment. The Environment Southland biodiversity team will also be joining us to talk about current funding support and local biodiversity projects. Lunch at midday, workshop 12.30pm to 4pm.  All welcome. Don’t forget to wear your gumboots and bring a coat.   

Please RSVP for lunch to Sandra 021 400 431 or


Environmental Catch Up with Environment Southland and Te Ao Marama Inc

16th May from 2.30pm to 4.30pm

Waikaka Combined Sports Complex

The Waikaka Stream Catchment Group welcome Environment Southland and Te Ao Marama Inc to give an update to the Waikaka and Pukerau districts on the environmental challenges facing Southland, as well as the plan and limit setting process.

For more information contact Craig McIntyre 0274761876 or Sandra Campbell (Thriving Southland) 021400431


Understanding our water quality - Mokoreta Catchment Group

NEW DATE - 24th May from 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Mokoreta/Redan Hall

Light supper provided.

Community catchment event with Justin Kitto, a DairyNZ water quality specialist. Justin will present available data for the Mokoreta River, discuss eDNA sample results and answer any questions the Group may have. 

For more information contact Matt McRae – 0274625040, Stu Cameron – 0272886901 or Sandra Campbell, Thriving Southland 021400431.


Understanding our water quality - Glenham Catchment Group

NEW DATE - 25th May from 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Glenham Hall

Light supper provided.

Join us for a community event to start discussions about a Glenham Catchment Group. Justin Kitto, a DairyNZ water quality specialist will also be coming along to present available water quality data for the Glenham Catchment streams and discuss eDNA sample results.

For more information contact Dean Rabbidge – 0278733527, David Clarke – 0276222325 or Sandra Campbell, Thriving Southland 021400431.

Have a great May,

Ngā mihi

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


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