Lower Aparima Catchment Group

The Lower Aparima Catchment Group was formed to raise awareness of water quality and the impact of farming, industry and urban communities in the Lower Aparima Catchment. And also aim to protect the future quality of our water, ecology, regional economy, farming systems and community. 

The Lower Aparima Zone for this group extends from South Boundary of the Otautau Township to Riverston, and all tributaries into the Aparima River. 


Simon Hopcroft
027 201 0377

Group coordinator

Rachael Halder


Number of members in the CG

131 email list, Facebook Group 233 members, Active members regularly attending Lower Aparima specific events. 

Date the Catchment Group started

7th April 2016

Types of people in the group

A diverse group open to the entire community — from deer, beef, sheep and dairy farmers to industry and community members from Riverton township, right through to recreational users of the Aparima River.

Values, Purpose, Outcomes/Goals


  • Sustainable farming, industry and communities.

  • Maintaining and improving water quality and estuary health in the lower Aparima River.

  • Maintaining relationships and communication with all people in the catchment.

  • Being able to carry out recreational activities on and in the lower Aparima River.


  • To increase awareness of water quality issues; science, water quality data and changes in policy.

  • To hold regular meetings that involve those with relevant knowledge and expertise.

  • To have involvement and engagement with all land users, industry, government bodies, industry groups and wider community.

  • To provide education and promotion of good management practises and environmentally beneficial techniques.

  • To trial practical new technology and techniques.

Outcomes / Goals

  • Establish additional monitoring stations to measure changes in water quality within the lower Aparima catchment.

  • Assist in developing new technology and techniques.

  • To get the rural community involved in the water quality discussion.

  • To gain credibility as a group. 

Aparima Community Environment (ACE) Project)

Lower Aparima Catchment Group is proud to have helped form the Aparima Community Environment (ACE) Group, who have hosted a number of events, such as stream walks, sediment trap field days and case studies. The ACE partnership allows the Catchment Group to be an integral part of projects and grow relationships in the broader community, while keeping its own identity. 

Hosted events / meetings

Regular meetings and public field days held throughout the year to provide an opportunity for farmers to exchange ideas and have productive discussions. Experts are regularly invited to speak at meetings, where they advocate good practice on-farm and help farmers understand local issues, including water quality of the Aparima River and Jacob’s Estuary. As well as holding meetings, the group has also contacted individual farmers to try and raise awareness on the Land and Water Plan, water quality and the forming of the group. 

Events held:

  • 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 Wintering Tour - this popular event showcases different winter grazing practices, crop types and wintering systems in and around the catchment. More than 50 farmers attend, and the Catchment Group is proud of its growing success. As well as being a learning opportunity, the Wintering Tour is a chance for farmers to take a break from the farm, to reconnect with old friends and meet newcomers to the district. The tour winds up with a barbecue. 

  • Surfing for Farmers - the Lower Aparima is one of the Surfing for Farmers locations. The Group fully supports this initiative, designed to get farmers off-farm and have some fun while trying something new. The Group has sought funding and grants to ensure the initiative is successful locally. 

  • May 2017: Thornbury water testing and old dump site

  • Wayne Langford YOLO Farmer

  • Brews and Banter

  • FEP workshops

  • Nutrient management

  • Wetlands

  • IWG field days - multiple

  • Planting events

  • ACE Streamwalks x 3 (2021 - 2023)

Group successes

  • Submission and hearing for the Proposed Southland Water and Land Plan

  • Raising awareness of FEP's - workshops, register of FEP's

  • IWG GMP - Raising the standard, paddock planning, massive push from our corner of the world - ACE

  • Founding members of ACE

  • Community engagement - getting to know our neighbours


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