Preview

Forum workshops

Upcoming workshops

25 & 26 February 2020 - Invercargill (Murihiku Marae)

Focus on draft freshwater objectives, gap analysis and focus areas for phase three

Phase 3 workshops

Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 May

Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 July

Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 October

Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 December

Dates, locations and public session times to be confirmed.

After each workshop it is our intention to share an overview of what the forum has been working on.

Workshop Six - 19 & 20 November 2019

Forum members were presented with the work from the iwi values workstream, which included a literature review and kanohi a kanohi (face-to-face) interviews with iwi from across Southland. They continued to learn about and discuss issues with Southland’s water quality and quantity and delver further into the detail around the draft freshwater objectives. The forum members are looking towards the end of Phase Two when they will put their first package of advice to Council and Te Ao Marama board members on potential methods to improve water quality.

Key messages from the forum:

  • We thank those that have been able to come along to the public sessions and talk to us about their values, concerns and vision for their river.
  • We’ve started to articulate this into a vision and we’re keen to check that back with the community in the new year.
  • A greater understanding of Te Mana o te Wai and our iwi community’s values is emerging.
  • We want our advice to council to be focused on practical actions that will support all the good work that is underway in our community to get the results in improving water quality that we all want.
  • We know that solutions can’t be focused only on regulation.
  • We are aware of particular challenges in different areas, but recognise that the whole catchment is going to need to make changes to see improvements from mountains to the sea.
  • We know maintaining and improving water quality and quantity will be a challenge and it will take time to achieve the community’s vision.
  • Collaboration and partnerships will be important to achieve the change that’s needed.
  • We’ve had some insight into the technical information that will guide our work to achieve the communities’ aspirations for water and look forward to sharing this with you in the New Year.

> Click here to read the record of the workshop

> Check out the highlights video of the workshop here:

After each workshop it is our intention to share an overview of what the forum has been working on.

Workshop Five - 19 & 20 September 2019

With phase one now complete, Regional Forum members moved into phase two of their work in Tuatapere this month. Throughout the two day workshop, the group began to hear the results of the Share Your Wai campaign, which collected community values for water from people across Southland. They also started to learn more about the National Policy Statement and the National Objectives Framework – and how this applies to their work in providing advice to Environment Southland’s council. They received their first look at the draft freshwater objectives package being developed for Southland. They spent time discussing national bottom lines and what these look like for Southland. Forum members also spent some time workshopping the barriers and drivers to change on-the-ground, and had an opportunity to see the Waiau River and some of the areas of concern from the water. The forum also agreed to present advice to Council on the Government’s Essential Freshwater Package for them to consider as part of the Council’s process of developing a submission on the proposal.

Key messages from the forum:

  • Tuatapere was a great place for us to understand community values. We heard first-hand just how important the river is to their community.
  • The well-supported public session provided us with authentic and emotional feedback on the values that are held for the Waiau and really allowed us to connect to the community values we had read about earlier in the day.
  • As part of understanding the communities values, we are keen to explore and understand the iwi perspectives on freshwater which we will receive in November.
  • Local community efforts we heard about were inspirational. Many groups and communities are focusing their efforts and looking after their own patch.
  • We expect that the same passion is likely to run deep in other catchments across the region, and we look forward to hearing more of the communities values for water at our next workshop in Winton in November.
  • We were lucky enough to spend time down on the river, building our understanding of a whole river system and seeing first hand some of the concerns we were told about by members of the community.
  • Following a briefing and discussion on the Government’s Essential Freshwater package, we understand just how important our role is for achieving the communities aspirations for freshwater.
  • Having spent the first four workshops getting to know each other, learning about the region and what our role is, we are excited to move into phase two and really get stuck into our work. We will produce our first report for Council at the end of Phase Two in the first quarter of 2020.

> Click here to read the record of the workshop

> Check out the highlights video of the workshop here:

Workshop Four - 25 & 26 July 2019

The Regional Forum has now completed Phase One of their work programme with the fourth workshop held in Invercargill on Thursday and Friday last week.

It was a successful workshop where they heard more from a range of sectors, including volunteer groups like Rotary, Wise Society and the New River Estuary Forum, the Invercargill City Council assets and wastewater treatment staff, Public Health South, Great South and local iwi. They also improved their knowledge of estuaries, Matauranga Maori, and the physiographics of Southland. They also continued to build on their knowledge of the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan and the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management – understanding more about the context within which they will make their recommendations.

Many thanks to those of you who attended – it was much appreciated by the Regional Forum members and members of the public.

> Check out the highlights video of the workshop below.

The forum have the following key messages:

  • We’re really excited to have completed the first phase of our Regional Forum journey. The first four workshops were designed to bring us together, get to know each other and help build up our understanding of the region.
  • We have been building a good, strong foundation and we are ready for Phase Two. We’re looking forward to continuing to engage with you - our communities, learning more about the values for freshwater that have been gathered over the last few months, and getting into the discussion around objectives.
  • The diverse range of speakers we’ve heard from over the last few months have enlightened, challenged and informed our different perspectives. We have been both heartened and alarmed at times, and we are aware of the urgency needed to support our community to ensure Southland’s environment is sustainable for our future generations.
  • We were pleased to announce Fiona Smith and Phil Morrison as chair and deputy chair of the Regional Forum.
  • Thank you to those that could come along to the public session, and a special thank you to all the speakers who have taken the time to come along to work with us in phase one of our journey.
  • Our workshops through Phase Two will continue to include a public session, and we hope you will come along and talk with us. The next round of public sessions will focus more on Regional Forum members hearing more from you, understanding your concerns and challenges.

Workshop Three - 20 & 21 June 2019

The third workshop was held in Te Anau, where forum members continued to build their knowledge of the Southland environment and the policy space they are working in. They also got a chance to hear from a number of groups and agencies including the Department of Conservation, Real Journeys, Destination Fiordland, Guardians of the Lake and the Southland District Council. The forum members heard from Dean Whaanga, Te Ao Marama, who explained Te Mana o te Wai and what it means to iwi and how the forum need to consider it as part of their role. Along with representatives from DairyNZ and the NZ Deer Farmers Association, visits to a local deer farm and a dairy grazing operation allowed the forum members to see some of the challenges faced by farmers over winter, how they are adopting good management practices in a practical setting and the additional steps they are taking to improve their farm and the environment.

Check out the short highlights video from the workshop.

View all the papers for this workshop here.

The key takeout messages from the group were:

  • We have just about completed the first phase of our journey – getting to know each other and learning/sharing knowledge. At our next meeting in Invercargill we will announce the chair of our group and begin looking ahead to our work understanding the community’s values and objectives for freshwater.
  • We’ve heard from many different groups and agencies, and we loved hearing from the locals in Te Anau and learning their stories.
  • We recognise that we need to have an integrated perspective across the system – from mountains to the sea (ki uta ki tai). To date we have focused on the top of the catchments, and we’re looking forward to learning more about our estuaries.
  • There is a great depth of knowledge at this table. We know that, moving forward, we need to be prepared to listen and be open to all ideas.
  • The different industries and sectors we’ve learned from so far have all gone through change, and with the changes coming from the government, we expect continued change for us in our role on the forum, and for our communities.
  • Every industry in Southland has issues with water quality. We are seeing and want to see more ownership of the issues to water quality issues.
  • We appreciate the time people are taking to come and talk to us to share their knowledge, and to those that have welcomed us onto their farms and businesses. We have learned a lot which has put us in good stead for the work we have ahead of us.

Workshop Two - 9 & 10 May 2019

During the second workshop in Gore, forum members had an opportunity to meet with members of the Environment Southland monitoring team and see how they carry out water quality and quantity monitoring at the Mataura River at Gore’s monitoring site. On day two, the forum members visited farms in the Knapdale and Wyndham areas and met with local runaka representatives on the banks of the Mataura River at Mataura to learn more about the mātaitai and the history of the area. A public session was also held, where Wyndham angler Alan Leitch and Environment Southland councillor Maurice Rodway presented on the history of the Mataura Conservation Order. Doyle Richardson from Alliance spoke about their business and the environmental challenges they face looking to the future.

Check out the short highlights video from the workshop.

View all the papers for this workshop here.

The key takeout messages from the group were:

  • Technology and innovation continues to drive change We developed a timeline of key historical events that shaped Southland’s economy, communities and environment. We recognise that technology and innovation will play an important part in the changes to come in Southland’s future.
  • Concern about the impact we’ve all had on the environmentWe are concerned at the change that has occurred in our environment, and are keen to look to the future and help communities and industries understand and make improvements that benefit us all.
  • Coming to grips with the complexity We are starting to build a picture of the complexity of Southland’s environment through field trips, speakers and presentations. Southland’s landscape, geology, waterways and communities were covered, as well as the regulatory environment. This was done with a particular focus on the Mataura catchment.
  • Talking to people on the ground is importantWhile spending time understanding the theory is important, we all agreed that there’s nothing quite like seeing action ‘on-the-ground’, talking with industry reps, local community members and farmers really helped us to understand the challenging issues and complex decisions that need to be made.
  • There’s a high level of interest in what we’re doingThanks to everyone who came along to the public session on Friday during the workshop. Your interest in what we are doing and your contribution to the conversation is so important.

Workshop One - 4 & 5 April 2019

This first workshop focused on allowing the members to start to get to know one another; to start exploring their roles and responsibilities as well as the roles of Environment Southland and Te Ao Marama; to start developing a code of conduct and begin to explore the context of the work ahead, in particular change and decision making.

Check out this short highlights video from the first workshop.

View all the papers for this workshop here.

The key takeout messages from the group were:

  • We have started! The Forum members are excited to have started on the journey. They are looking forward to receiving the community’s values and objectives from the Share your Wai campaign.
  • Thanks to the Marae team and the Awarua Runanga who made us so welcome – We couldn’t think of a better place to start our journey. The group started their work by considering the context within which decisions on freshwater are made. Bluff was a great place to look out over the region, exploring the relationship of freshwater bodies within the physical landscape and the concept of ki uta ki tai, mountains to the sea. The group considered the role of time in decision making, exploring social, economic and other historical trends on freshwater uses, the interconnections and interdependencies between communities. Beginning their work within the beautiful Te Rau Aroha Marae enabled the group to explore different cultural frames within which decisions are made.
  • We have begun building a united group where our diversity of thinking and perspectives can be harnessed for a common purpose to achieve positive outcomes for the Southland community. The group recognised the diverse skills, experience and perspectives they brought to the table and agreed they share a genuine desire to learn from and understand each other.
  • We wish to thank the members of the public who contributed Lloyd Esler and Estelle Pera-Leask who led the field trips, sharing their historic knowledge and the work of the Motopuhue Trust, as well as the Environment Southland/ Te Ao Marama staff who worked together seamlessly as one team. We also want to thank all those that took the time to come to the public session and join us for a workshop exploring our ‘Vision for the future’.
  • We feel we are part of a wider whanau of Murihiku, working together for the good of the region and are looking forward to the challenge ahead!

Click here to find out more about each of the forum members.