October 2020: To test the level if interest for a catchment group in Te Anau we held a National Environmental Standards information evening complete with panel for Q&A. The event was supported by Thriving Southland with board chair Ewen Mathieson, Kate Scott from Landpro, Fiona Young from Environment Southland, Tessa Schmidt from DairyNZ and Corina Jordan from Beef and Lamb NZ. There was a lot of concern from the attendees and tough questions for the panel on the regulations. At the end of the evening there was some good discussion over supper and anyone who was interested in being involved in the catchment group indicated so on the rego form.
November 2020: The group of interested community members came together for a meeting to discuss what a catchment group is, can do and the possibilities of having a catchment group in the Te Anau Basin.
March 2021: The committee met to brainstorm ideas and go through a process to decide what to do first. They came up with some great ideas around farm plans, engagement ideas and understanding water quality. The consensus was to start by understanding what the water quality data available for the Te Anau area was as a committee, to then figure out how to best share it widely with the whole committee to increase engagement and understanding of local water quality.
April 2021: In April, Mike Freeman from Landpro zoomed in to our meeting to decode the Te Anau water quality info for the group. His presentation was accompanied by a fantastic, brief report (available below) that the attendees could take away, share via email and is available online. We also had the privilege of having Simon Hopcroft from the Lower Aparima Catchment Group come along and share ideas and his experience of being involved in a catchment group to provide motivation and inspiration.
July 2021: Beef + Lamb NZ hosted a Burgers and Fries social and wellbeing evening with a speaker. The event was shared to the wider Te Anau database to spread the word. Catchment Group member, Rob Kempthorne gave a brief speech to update the event attendees on what the group had been up to so far and talked about the Te Anau science report. Printed copies were available on the night and all were taken away to be read.