Learn more about our work culture and see job vacancies.
Meet the current Councillors, representing the Southland community.
Activities that might affect the environment could require a resource consent from us.
Read about land management issues and good environmental practices.
Get the latest air quality information and monitoring results.
We monitor information about the environment to enable it to be managed for future generations.
Check out a range of helpful information for our farming community.
There are many opportunities for the community to participate in our decision-making processes.
You don’t have to be a scientist to get involved in science. Every day, people of all ages and backgrounds carry out monitoring that helps them understand what’s happening in their environment.
From counting birds to testing water quality, there are a number of ways you could find out more about your property or catchment. There might already be a project you can join, or you might want to start your own monitoring. This could be anything from sampling water for testing, carrying out a bird count, or using a rain gauge. So if your own monitoring is the way to go, here are a few things to think about.
You can download our Community environmental monitoring factsheet here.
Being clear about what you want to find out is the most
important step in designing your own monitoring programme. This will ensure you
don’t waste time and money on testing or monitoring something that doesn’t help
answer your question, leads you to draw the wrong conclusion, or is
already being monitored or studied. Make sure you do some research around
the topic, and get some good advice. Write down what you think the results
might be, and why.
Think about your question and what you might need to do. Do
you need some expert advice or training? How will you carry out your
monitoring? What equipment do you need? Will you monitor once or repeat the
monitoring? How often will you monitor? Are there different options and what do
For example, if you are monitoring water quality you might
need a test kit, and the samples will need to be sent away for analysis. If you
want to look at bank erosion, you might want to take photos over a certain period
of time. If you are using a rain gauge, you will want to make sure it is in the
right spot so your results are accurate.
It’s important to note that data collected for a council to
use as part of its research needs to meet strict standards and criteria.
Consider what data you want to collect and how it will be used, then select the
methods appropriate for this.
Once you have some results, you can reflect on what they
mean, and continue to seek out help and compare these with the results of
others in your community. You might, for example, have more birds on your
property than your neighbour. Why? What can be learned? Was anything surprising
or curious and do you need to do some more monitoring? Sometimes long-term
monitoring that continues for years can be very helpful to track trends and
variability within the environment.