October 2022 Thriving Southland Newsletter

Welcome to our October Newsletter!

With everyone heads down and busy with calving and lambing, the team have been spending some time preparing for upcoming events and continuing to support Catchment Groups’ projects and plans.
The success of Thriving Southland, and the growth of Catchment Groups in Southland, with tangible on-the-ground changes and projects, speaks for itself. We believe after only two and a half years, the momentum of our Catchment Groups, supported by Thriving Southland, is only just getting going and we have so much more to achieve in Southland. Watch this space!
It’s been really pleasing getting more positive feedback from Catchment Groups after the release of the Pragmatica report in late August detailing the difference Thriving Southland has made during the past two years - you can check out a copy of the report here. We’ve received quite a bit of feedback around science being used as a catalyst, not as an enforcement tool, enabling Groups to get on and make positive changes within their catchments.
The 35 Catchment Groups across the region are all independent and have different aims and goals. It’s amazing what can happen when you give people support to explore the opportunities in their local areas. We’re seeing real community benefits when Catchment Groups get going, with great cross sector conversations, kick-started over a BBQ, in addition to the on-farm work underway.
So, thank goodness it’s almost BBQ season (okay so we might have cranked it out already!)

ACE Sediment Trap Construction Workstream

The ACE project is well underway, one of their 4 workstreams is all about sediment traps. The workstream is supporting farmers to receive expert help and, to create a network of sediment traps within the Aparima. Apart of the workstream helps farmers to measure and understand the topsoil that is held in these traps and quantify the nutrient value. From this, we aim to develop some guidance for farmers on cost considerations, effectiveness and how to go about developing your own sediment trap.

Dirk and Petra Dietsche’s Sediment Traps

The Dietsche’s operate a large dairy property in the upper Waimatuku catchment, bordering the Bayswater Bog in the Drummond area. The topography of the property has areas of rolling hill on an upper terrace before dropping down to flatter land adjacent to the Bayswater Bog.

Dirk was interested in installing some sediment traps on his property and sought advice from Environment Southland to determine the best locations for them. A number of sediment traps were constructed in three different areas, all utilising small gully and swale areas. Some of these areas were being used as farm forestry blocks, with sediment traps being installed after the trees had been harvested.

If you want to read more about the sediment traps Dirk has created, with details on catchment areas and construction times, read and view videos here.

Rural waste solutions

Want to know about where you can easily recycle in your local area. Check out our top tips booklet, developed following the recent Trish Rankin waste reduction workshops here.

Catchment Group Profile

Orauea RiverCatchment Group

When was the Group formed?
The Group, covering the Orauea River catchment, which is a tributary of the Waiau River, was formed in mid 2021.
What’s been happening?

  • In July 2021 the community got together at the Orawia and Districts Community Centre to hear from scientist Dr. Clint Rissmann about the strong presence of mudstone surrounding the Orauea River and its correlation between sediment and e-coli in waterways.
  • In August 2021, the first committee meeting was held, followed by a 'what next' event to provide inspiration and motivation to be involved and share ideas.
  • In December 2021, the Catchment Group hosted a BBQ and project discussion at the Orawia Community Centre.
  • In February 2022, project plans were finalised at a committee meeting to and they agreed to officially apply for Thriving Southland funding.
  • In March, an online meeting attracted a good number of farmers and stakeholders to hear about the direction of travel of freshwater regulations and limit setting.
  • Lower Waiau and Orauea factsheets, summarising the available land and water research are now available here.  

How to get in touch: 
Contact Group coordinator - Clare Officer, on 027 371 9791 or, or join the Facebook group.

Recent Events

Thriving Southland Stakeholder Open Day well attended

We had a great turn out by stakeholders for an Open Day at our Thriving Southland office in late August. There was great conversation and a sharing of ideas over a cuppa and kai. We feel very lucky that Southland has a great bunch of stakeholders who support our work and the network of Catchment Groups.

Makarewa Headwaters Catchment Group Community Planting Afternoon & BBQ

Thanks to everyone who participated in our recent community planting day event. Southland certainly turned on the weather, and with so many hands we made short work of the couple of hundred trees we had ready to plant. A special thanks to the Ruddenklau’s for their vision and support to make it happen. Thanks also to AB Lime, Malcom McKenzie and the Legg Family for their generous plant donations.

We’re excited for the next generation who will get to enjoy this beautiful spot.
A picnic table and parking space are to come and for anyone wanting to check out the new community space, it’s located on the Lora Gorge Road, on the bank of the Makarewa River.

Hedgehope School Stream Health Study at Sherwood Forest Covenant

Our four Education Kits are starting to be booked by schools as the weather gets warmer. They can be borrowed by anyone – schools, students, community groups, Catchment Groups. Sarah had great fun in mid-September using the Stream Health Kit with Hedgehope School at Sherwood Forest Covenant. The students also loved our four stuffed pest animals from the Solving the Pest Puzzle Kit. 

These kits are free to use and can be booked by calling the Thriving Southland Office on 021 466 700. You just need to pick them up and drop them back once you’re finished. Our Catchment Group Coordinators are happy to help take you through how to use the Kits.

We are also developing four short videos on how to use these kits and hope to get these on our website in October. You can find more information on the kits here.

Community Social and Wellbeing Event at Dipton with Bailley Unahi

On 27 September, a crowd turned up at the Dipton Golf Club to hear from Bailley Unahi. What a great speaker!  We learned about her spinal injury in 2016 and how having a new perspective, focusing on the small wins, and the bonuses of being from a small tight knit community, has helped her.

She’s even found a new passion in skiing with a goal of becoming New Zealand's first female sit skier at the 2026 Winter Paralympics! Her messages are “give it a go, what is the worst that can happen?” and “life is to be lived, never give up and there is always a way if you have passion”.


Wendon Catchment Group creek walk event
12 October, from 1pm to 3pm
Meet at Tim and Emma Hammond’s woolshed, 105 Pyramid Creek Road, WendonCome and join DairyNZ’s water quality specialist, Justin Kitto, for a creek walk, followed by a cuppa and chat about existing water testing data.

For more information contact Sharryl Baird on 0276401044, Morgan Crooks on 0273205716 or Tim Hammond on 0272359025.

Otama Catchment Group: GHG Know your number workshop
Tuesday 1 November, 6pm to 9pm
Location TBC

Wendonside Catchment Group - Planting and Waterways Field Day

4 November from 2pm

Meet at the Dyer property, 295 Freshford Plains Station Road, Wendonside


There are several 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 October,

Ngā mihi

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


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