Our People, Our Places – My Southland Story
Southland District Council, in conjunction with James Jubb of Jubb Studios, is proud to bring you Our People, Our Places – My Southland Story – a celebration of Southlanders. Each week on a Sunday night we will have a new video about a Southlander who is doing something innovative or is the heart and soul of their community so watch this space. We are thrilled to bring this to you as an acknowledgement of the great things happening in our communities.
When we think of saffron we usually associate it with middle east countries and oriental food. Steve and Jo Daley from Te Anau took a huge leap of faith when they decided to give the crop a go in Southland.
It goes to show that sometimes when we take a risk we reap the biggest benefits. Even though the first harvest did not yield a huge amount of flowers, the quality of the saffron far exceeded the standard set by the testing bodies beyond anything ever recorded. As it turned out Southland with its strong UV light, make it the perfect place to grow the crop.
Jane Bowan from DOC, the site lead for the Waituna Creek Living Water partnership between DOC and Fronterra is busy surveying the fish population at the creek to evaluate whether their rehabilitation measures have had an impact on the fish population.
The Waituna Creek is surrounded by productive farmland which has raised some concerns around the ecological health of the creek and the lagoon it feeds into. The Living Water partnership aims to alleviate some of the stresses of farming activities on the waterway and improve the habitat so fish and wildlife can thrive.
Robin Holmes a Freshwater Ecologist from the Cawthron sees this as a real opportunity to showcase increased environmental outcomes within farmed streams and see fish species flourishing.
Dean Whaanga the Whakamana te Waituna co-chair describes their vision for the catchment as a really great place for the people to come and enjoy. “If the land is healthy and the water is healthy then the people will be healthy.” For him the ultimate goal is to have prosperous farming that has a great balance with the natural environment, safeguarding biodiversity for future generations to enjoy.
Waikaia is the little town that could.
Project co-ordinator Mairi Dickson tells the story of a community coming together to accomplish the mammoth feat of building their stunning new museum in the northern Southland town of Waikaia.
It took unwavering determination, passion, hard-word and a collective vision from Mrs Dickson, her hard-working committee and an amazing group of volunteers to finally open the $1.2 million Switsers Museum.
Years of fundraising and the support of southern organisations including Southland District Council, the Southland Regional Heritage Fund and Community Trust South was required to make this dream a reality.
Southland roving museums officer Jo Massey helped the committee to catalogue and organise their impressive collection into a story that is expertly told by museum designer Chris Currie with graphic art by Jackie Byers of Gore.
The new museum replaces the original Switzers Museum, which was established in the former Coronation Hall in 1988.
Over the years the historic bottle house and courthouse were added to the site, in Blaydon Street, giving Waikaia a heritage precinct that will be the envy of any small rural community.
This week Robyn Guyton takes us on a tour around the heritage orchards of Southland.
The Open Orchard Project has been involved in the planting of over 7000 fruit trees in Southland with the aim of preserving the rich diversity of fruit trees the settlers brought to New Zealand.
Robyn describes the project as an open source collection of heritage trees that aims to preserve wide varieties of fruit trees that would otherwise be lost due to commercialisation. Some of the varieties preserved go back over 700 years and are now only found in Southland.
Trees are being planted around parks throughout Southland to make this heritage treasure available to all of our communities. You can read up on the project on the South Coast Environment Society website, http://www.sces.org.nz (external link)
Find out more about the project and get involved at the Riverton Environment Centre. Don’t miss the 11th annual Riverton Harvest Festival on 30 and 31 March.
Welcome to the 151st A&P show where country comes to town. The Annual Southland A&P Show in Invercargill is an unmissable event in the Southland calendar. This year's show was a raving success with plenty of entertainment on offer for all ages. The event celebrates our country lifestyle with music, dance, games, food and of course a chance for everyone to get up close and personal with our furry friends.
Mike and Jen Ryder from Straw Hat Gardens got off the hamster wheel and swapped their busy lives for growing organic vegetables on a small 1.5 acre plot in Winton. They follow a bio-intensive vegetable growing method that allows them to be profitable on a small scale. This means no noisy tractors, no dangerous chemicals and amazing tasting vegetables. If you want to try their vegetables you can meet Mike and Jen at the Southern Farmers Market in Invercargill on Sunday mornings.
For Logan Dean from Custom Aluminium Southland in Tokanui, everything he needs to make his dreams come true is right here in Southland.
When Logan first decided to become his own boss he was well aware of the risks that come with running a business but he did not let that put him off.
Instead, he has resorted to a tried and tested strategy to make it happen, working your but off.
But Logan is not a dull boy, being his own boss has given him the flexibility to make the most of what Southland has on offer and spend more time with his family. Without a huge mortgage to tie him down, he can afford a work-life balance that allows him to go hunting, fishing and diving and take advantage of the outdoor playground on his backdoor.
For Mike Pelesco, Southland has proved to be the land of opportunity he was seeking.
Originally hailing from the Philippines, Mike and his wife Coral have worked hard since arriving in the District in 2008 and now proudly manage a thriving 1500-cow dairy operation at Edendale.
They’ve strived to create an idyllic country lifestyle for their family, which now includes two young daughters, to flourish.
“Working here in Southland you’ve got big opportunities and it’s up to you to climb up that ladder to where you want to be in the future,” Mike says.
Although he admits he had to Google Southland initially, it was pretty much love at first sight so bags were quickly packed to embark on a new life and chase the quintessential kiwi dream.
As Southlanders we are known for being laid back and friendly but at the same time, there is a work ethic to make things happen.
For Lyle and Debbie Penisula, Southland is the perfect environment for a creative family to thrive. After living in Hawkes Bay and Auckland, they have returned home to Southland to take advantage of the unique opportunities we have down here and contribute to an already strong community of creatives.
While Lyle has managed to pick up the brush again and relaunch his passion for the arts, two of his sons are involved in music and Debbie has her hands full with projects around Lorneville Holiday Park.
The Penisula family creativity is on show in an exhibition titled Aiga Family at the Chiaroni Gallery on Don Street till the end of February.
Thank you all for the great response to our call for images and videos showing us how you enjoyed summer in our slice of paradise. Here is the epic compilation of our summer in Southland.
Logan and Melissa from Farm Fresh South know everything there is to know about milk, but only 10 years ago they were as green as the grass they are feeding their cows. They moved to Southland from Motueka to turn an idea into an opportunity. After much hard work, their vision has become reality. Their small boutique dairy in Woodlands provides fresh raw milk 24/7 to the public. Once you had raw you come back for more.
Be inspired by how the historic town of Riverton made a group of New Zealand's finest street artists feel at home and gave them a real taste of Southland hospitality in exchange for a unique makeover. The street art event organised by South Sea Spray and DEOW (Danny Owen) has managed to bring together the contemporary and combine it with the area's rich heritage to create a stunning selection of murals that have transformed the town.
Welcome to the epic Tour of Southland a must for every New Zealand cyclist. It isn’t just the stunning scenery, the challenging terrain and the unpredictable weather conditions that have made this the most prestigious cycle race in the country. The Tour of Southland is part of our local history and the community involvement of all ages have marked this annual event on our calendar as a celebration of our people and our places.
Meet Dave Goodin, born in the North Island, he has chosen Stewart Island/ Rakiura to create a very unique visitor experience. People from all over the world visit Dave’s studio, Rakiura Jade, to carve their own special memory of this amazing place and its people.
Meet Kelly the coffee addict and Steve the tattoo artist who have escaped Auckland’s rat race and put their roots down in Lumsden.
But that does not mean they have put their feet up.
In the short time, they have been calling Southland their home they have managed to renovate an old Masonic Lodge, establish a coffee roasting business, Roar, and setup Temple Tattoo that attracts locals and people from further afield.
This video follows Tom O'Brien as he shows us around Welcome Rock Trails' epic 27km of hand-built mountain bike and walking trails near Garston New Zealand. Discover why Tom O'Brien loves living in this amazing playground and how the trail evolved to encapsulate the local history and stunning views.
This story takes us to Riverton where we talk to Jess Terril who is living the dream in Southland.
Meet some real Southland heroes as they take on the 286km ride from Invercargill to Milford Sound raising money for Heart Kids Southland.
The video is a tribute to true Southland generosity. Why don’t you join in? No need to put on your Lycras - just help Southland kids and their families fight heart disease.