November 2022 Thriving Southland Newsletter

Welcome to our November newsletter!

Catchment Groups are becoming more and more prominent in conversations around Southland’s prosperity, heritage, environment and health. For example, it was awesome to see Catchment Group members and leaders sharing their stories at the Southland DEL (Dairy Environment Leaders) conference in Invercargill in October.
Also during October, the work of Southland Groups was recognised when Thriving Southland was asked to speak first at the Catchment Group Initiatives session as part of the first National Catchment Group Forum in Wellington. 
And the work of Catchment Groups is going from strength to strength, with established Groups getting well into chunky projects, such as the Targeted Solutions to Balfour’s Environmental Challenges project. While new Groups, such as the Wendon Catchment Group, are holding their first events to chat about stream health and water quality testing.
Many Southland schools are also taking the opportunity to learn alongside Catchment Group members. This month saw 200 more plants in the ground as part of Mid Oreti Catchment Group's Mini Forest Movement Project. Great team effort by Lochiel School, AB Lime and the Mid Oreti Catchment Group.
Please come along to our Annual General Meeting in Gore on 10 November if you can - we’ve lined up some amazing speakers (details below).
Have a great month - bring on the sun!

Balfour Catchment Group environmental challenges project progressing

The Targeted Solutions to Balfour’s Environmental Challenges project is starting to pick up pace. Dr Clint Rissmann and Andrew Boyce from Land & Water Science recently visited Kath and Phil McCullum and Andrea and Chris Bulleid, two of four farms involved in the erosion and run-off workstream of this large project.
Clint and Andrew talked through the reports on the hill country drone mapping, before grabbing the spade for a spot of ground truthing to reinforce the accuracy of the information.  We are looking forward to some exciting extension field days in the not-too-distant future.

Waikawa plant giveaway proves popular with Catlins farmers

About a dozen farmers converged on Waikawa in mid-October to take up a generous offer from the Department of Conservation, which supplied about 1000 native plants for the Waikawa catchment.
They have been grown by DOC as part of the Ngā Awa programme - which takes a whole catchment approach. Ngā Awa is working in partnership with others to restore the biodiversity of 14 rivers from mountains to sea, including the Waikawa River. For more information on Ngā Awa click here.

Catchment Group Profile

Wendon Catchment Group

 Number of members in the Catchment Group
Date the Catchment Group started
July 2022

Types of people in the Group
The Wendon catchment is a mix of arable, forestry, sheep, beef and dairy. 
Hosted events/meetings
A keen group of 16 met up in July 2022 to discuss the possibilities around forming a Wendon Catchment Group and to brainstorm ideas for future projects. Interest has increased since the first meeting and members are encouraging anyone else in the area to get in touch.
Future events
Wendon Catchment Group are interested in understanding their existing water testing data. The group have asked Justin Kitto to speak around this at the October stream walk event. Other topics of interest include erosion control, EDNA/MCI testing and pests.
Group Chair, Sharryl Baird on 027 640 1044,
and Morgan Crooks on 027 320 5716

Wendon Catchment Group kicks off with Pyramid Creek Walk

The Wendon Catchment Group were joined by Justin Kitto from DairyNZ and Becky & Jess from the Environment Southland Land Sustainability team in mid-October, to gain an understanding of how to assess on-farm stream health.
A group of 15 farmers met at Tim and Emma Hammond’s property to give both the Stream Health Monitoring Assessment Kit (SHMAK) and eDNA testing a go in the Pyramid Creek which runs through the farm. The group then moved to the woolshed to listen to Justin breakdown the existing water quality data from the Waikaia River.  What a fantastic first event for Wendon Catchment Group.

Mid Oreti Catchment Group Planting Day with Lochiel School

Mid Oreti Catchment Group had a fab day with Lochiel School’s Room 5 students, planting 200 plants on Pete Thomson’s Farm as part of the Mid Oreti Catchment Group's Mini Forest Movement Project.
This project is all about encouraging lots of mini native forests to be planted across their area, and alongside the plantings they are running workshops and sessions to teach people how to grow their own native plants.
AB Lime have been really supportive of the project, donating 1000 plants and staff time to kickstart it. Lochiel School was also a lucky recipient of this year’s plants, along with a community planting project in Lora Gorge, and two local farms. The Lochiel School pump bike track was planted out during the school holidays and looks amazing.  Great team effort by Lochiel School, AB Lime and the Mid Oreti Catchment Group.

Mid Oreti Catchment Group Grow Your Own Natives 3 
1 November from 3pm to 6pm drop in session
AB Lime Nursery, Browns
Come along to the third instalment of our growing your own native workshops. This workshop will focus on re-potting your native seedlings into larger pots. Pot up your own seedlings from previous workshops or pop along and help us re-pot the Mid Oreti Mini Forest seedlings, which will be used for community planting in the coming years.
Otama Catchment Group B+LNZ GHG Workshop
1 November from 6pm to 9pm

Otama Hall
This workshop, run by B+LNZ, is for sheep, beef and deer farmers keen to understand what their GHG number is. It's a great opportunity to have someone on hand to walk you through the B+LNZ online emission calculator and Action Plan for your farming business.  
Open to everyone, including other Catchment Groups. For more information or to RSVP please contact Tania Clarke, Thriving Southland Catchment Coordinator, on or 021 399 343.
Waikaka Stream Catchment Group Winter Grazing Planning Field Day
2 November from 12.30pm for the BBQ, 1pm start.

Craig McIntyre's Property (Meeting at Maitland Dog Trial Hut - just up the road from house), 752 Donald Road, Maitland
The Waikaka Stream Catchment Group is having a winter grazing planning field day, supported by Environment Southland’s Carl Erikson to help us through those consenting questions. We will be revisiting established silt traps and wetlands and discussing how they can be an effective tool on farm. All welcome.

For more information contact Craig McIntyre on 027 476 1876 or Sandra Campbell (Thriving Southland) on 021 400 431
Wendonside Catchment Group Planting and Waterways Field Day
4 November from 2pm

Starting at the Dyer Property, 295 Freshford Plains Station Road, Wendonside before heading to the Dingle property at 160 Freshford Plains Station Road and finishing at Wendonside Hall for BBQ
Starting at the Dyer property to view their nursery, before heading to the Dingle property for a waterway walk and discussion about waterway health and habitat.
We’ll be discussing the results from the February Wendonside Catchment Group waterway health surveys, as well as exploring native plants, waterway planting, growing your own plants, assessing waterway health and providing waterway habitat.  The Environment Southland Land Sustainability team are also coming along to answer any questions you may have on waterways and consent requirements.
We are finishing the afternoon with a guest speaker, Sandra Campbell, Thriving Southland catchment co-ordinator, farmer and native plant nursery enthusiast. BBQ and BYO to follow at the Hall - whole community welcome.
For more information and to RSVP contact Tracey Miller on 0273 437 446
The 2021 Biennial Deer Industry Environmental Award winners field day
9 November from 12.30pm
Arawata Deer Farmm Selling shed, Mataura Island-Fortrose Road.
Join hosts, John and Mel Somerville and facilitator Nicola McGrouther at a field day to celebrate John and Mel Somerville winning the 2021 Duncan NZ Environment Award.
This field day was postponed in 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions. Arawata Deer Farm in Pine Bush, coastal southern Southland, is a red deer stud and velveting farm on rolling country with some steep broken aspects. The field day will include a farm tour showcasing environmental risk management and mitigation practices, and biodiversity enhancement that complement a sustainable and profitable business with deer as the core focus.
The tour will finish with an awards ceremony and a venison BBQ at 4pm.
Registration is essential - register here.

Thriving Southland Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Gore
10 November from 1.30pm
Croydon Lodge, Gore
Come along to the Thriving Southland Association Incorporated AGM. Join us for a bite to eat, a catch up with other Southland farmers and friends, and find out about what Thriving Southland has done in 2022 and plans for 2023.

We will also have great speakers, with Nick Pyke from Agmardt talking about insights on the ag sector, innovation and change on the horizon. This will be followed by a panel discussion with Blake Holgate, Rabobank and Bernadine Balle-Guilleux, Horticulture NZ Director and Thriving Southland Board member.  

For catering purposes please RSVP to (noting any dietary requirements) by Monday 7 November.


There are likely to be 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 November,

Ngā mihi

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


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