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April 18th, 2021

How to Survive Southern Paws

With Southern Paws less than two weeks away, I’m sure a lot of you are getting pretty excited for the event. But before it can happen, we need to take a step back. How does this all work? This post will cover everything you need to know about the event, including opening times, emergency details, and what to bring.

First of all, some basic details.

Basic Details

The site, and times

The event will be held at the Waipara Adventure Centre. The event will be running from Friday to Monday. The site opens for attendees at 2 PM on Friday. If you arrive early you’ll have to wait outside the main gate. If you’re waiting, please don’t obstruct the driveway!

Be tidy! We ask everyone attending to help us out by keeping the site, and their rooms clean and presentable. We aim to leave the site cleaner than it was when we arrived.

For more information, a map of the site is included below. Click the image to view a larger version.


William Smith is the main building. It has the main hall/dining room, the drinks station, and bathrooms. It’s also where some of the cabins and the bunkroom are located.

Steadfast is the second main building. This is where you’ll find the lounge and games room, as well as more bathrooms and a kitchenette with a fridge. This is where the rest of the cabins are located.

Tui Lodge consists of two rooms located down the hill on the left of the site. These rooms were used as the Games Room and Art Room last time, but this year they’re open for free use. The rooms are both heated and are a great spot for long-running games or quiet art sessions. Please keep them clean if you use them!


If you explore the site you’ll find a number of outdoor activities. The confidence course is a series of climbing frames and other adventure playground type equipment. There are also two playgrounds at the site. One of these has a trampoline - please be safe! There is also a sports field, a basketball court, and a wide variety of areas to walk and relax.

Signing in and out

When you first arrive at the site, you’ll need to sign in. The sign in desk will be located in the William Smith building, in the Main Hall. As part of this procedure, Southern Paws staff will need to see your photo identification. Once we confirm your identity, we will issue you with your convention badge. This must be worn at all times.

On the day of the event, we’ll have a trail of large flags you can follow from the car parking area to con registration. So just remember, follow the flags!

If you have any alcohol, you will have to check it in at registration. For more information on our alcohol policy, keep reading.

If you wish to leave the site at any point, you must find a staff member with a radio and sign out.

The forms of identification we can accept are listed below:

  • 18+ Card
  • Kiwi Access Card
  • Passport
  • Driver’s Licence

If you don’t have at least one of these forms of identification, contact our staff immediately.


Rooms in our cabins have already been allocated based on the information submitted with your registration. If your preferred roommates were not able to fill an entire room, you will need to share with others. For those who didn’t specify preferences, or those who picked the bunkroom option, you will be allocated beds randomly. When you sign in to the event, convention staff will tell you your assigned room number and roommates.

Rooms are allocated in advance, and we cannot allow attendees to move without prior notification. If your cabin preferences have changed, please notify us immediately.

Food and dietary requirements

Dinner will be provided on Friday, all meals on Saturday and Sunday and breakfast on Monday. You can bring your own snacks if you’d like more, though.

If you have any allergies or special dietary requirements, you must tell us about these as soon as possible. The food this year is being catered by our venue and we are unable to make last-minute changes to the meal plans.


We do allow smoking, but in designated areas only. This includes the use of vapes and electronic cigarettes. If you need help finding this area, find a convention staff member and they can point you in the right direction.


We are pleased to announce that we will be able to allow alcohol at the event this year, after working with our site on a set of rules that we were both happy with.

  • Attendees will be able to bring a maximum of 15 standard drinks for the whole event.
  • Drinks will have to be signed in at registration and tagged by staff.
  • Drinks will be stored by us (the convention staff) in a fridge that won’t be accessable to attendees.
  • You can come and ask us to get one of your drinks if you’d like one.
  • If you’re noticeably intoxicated, we won’t be able to give you any more drinks.
  • Drinks will only be given out between the hours of 7PM and 11PM (we can’t give out drinks while day pass attendees are on-site)

In addition, we have some limits on what drinks are allowed. We are able to allow the following drinks:

  • Standard single-serve bottles (or cans) of beer, cider, or RTDs.
  • Small (airplane-sized, single serve) bottles (or cans) of wine.

All drinks must be in their original (retail) containers.

Don’t get drunk. If you’re intoxicated you will be put in a safe place until you sober up, and you will not be able to consume any more alcohol for the rest of the event.

If you have any more questions, please email us.


The event is taking place in Autumn this year, so it should be a bit warmer and dryer than last time. It’s a little too early to predict the exact conditions for the weekend, but expect highs to be around 17°C-22°C, and lows to be around 5°C-10°C overnight.

Conditions have been generally dry, but rain is always possible, so bring a jacket.

If something goes wrong

If something goes wrong at the event, or you need medical attention, find a member of our staff as soon as you can. You’ll know them by the bright green Southern Paws t-shirts. And the huge “STAFF” label written on the back. That helps too.

If you need medical attention urgently, Baz and Votter will be our first aid staff this year.

If at any point during the convention you need to get in touch with staff and can’t find anyone, you can reach convention staff using the phone number 0225074385 at any point during the convention. Cell signal at the site should be fairly good. We recommend that you put this number into your phone now - before you need it in an emergency.

Furry Convention Survival

What to bring

First of all, we have to go over the basics. The list below will cover all the basic things you will need to bring with you to the event.

  • Bedding materials. Anything you might need - blankets, pillows, and a warm sleeping bag. Mattresses will be provided, and the rooms are heated, but the night can be pretty cold in the South Island.
  • Warm clothes - as said above, things can get pretty cold! Bring all the clothes you’ll need for the weekend, and some extras if you want to be safe.
  • Towels! At least one, but two is better. The showers on site are diesel heated, and you’ll want to use them.
  • Toiletries. A tooth brush, tooth paste, shampoo, soap, all the basics you’d need for the weekend. This includes deodorant. We don’t want smelly furries.
  • Decent outdoor footwear. The site is fairly easy to get about, but if you want to spend time outdoors you’ll probably want to bring some decent shoes. Some activities may require closed-toe shows.
  • A rain jacket.
  • A water bottle.
  • A torch.

And, a few more things (that while not essential,) you might want to bring.

  • Snacks and drinks. The nearest full-service supermarket is Countdown Amberley, located about a ten minute drive away from the site. There will not be any snacks available for purchase on-site, so we recommend you bring some with you.
  • Basic medication. It’s a good idea to bring any basic medication you could need - Ibuprofen, Immodium, Paracetemol, and antacids being a few examples.
  • Earbuds, earplugs, or headphones. You may end up sharing a room with someone who snores!
  • Swimming togs. We will be having a water-slide activity, and you’ll need togs for this. Wetsuits will not be allowed (site policy).

What not to bring

  • Weapons. We can’t allow weapons on-site at Southern Paws. If you want to use a prop weapon as part of your costume, please contact us in advance to ask if it’s okay. Nerf guns and soft arrows are permitted as long as they are used outdoors and only between consenting persons. You must also clean up after use.
  • Pets will not be allowed at Southern Paws. Guide dogs, and other disability assistance animals are permitted, but we may ask for evidence of this. Please contact us as soon as possible if this applies to you.
  • Explosives, flamethrowers, dangerous things.
  • Drugs. We will not allow any drugs that are not prescription or over the counter. All prescription medicines must be in their original containers unless evidence is provided that it is the same as what your prescription states. Anything else is prohibited and will be reported to police. We will not allow any illegal substances.
  • Valuables. We don’t have any secure storage available on site, so please don’t bring anything valuable that you might lose.

What to do

As with any convention, remember the 6-2-1 rule: Get six good hours of sleep each night, eat two good meals each day, and take one good shower each morning. Besides that, just have fun. Furries tend to be a friendly bunch, so get out there, mingle, and chat!

Remember the event staff are just volunteers, and we pay for our tickets just like anyone else. None of us are making anything from the convention and we are doing it for you folks, the NZ furry fandom. So be nice, considerate, and understand that we are trying our best to make this an awesome weekend for all of us.

On behalf of myself and the rest of the staff, I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has decided to attend this year. We’re still a young convention and your support has made this all possible. I would also like to thank the artists Inka and GaelicNox, for all of the amazing work they have done to help bring this convention alive.

We’ll see you soon.

~ kap

March 19th, 2021

Six weeks to go!

It’s been a busy month since we first opened registration just over four weeks ago! Now there’s (just under) six more weeks until Southern Paws 2021, and there’s two more weeks left to register. We’ve had an awesome response this year, and we’re getting ready to start planning out our schedule of events as soon as registration closes up.

We’ve also opened up our merchandise ordering page, with two designs made by the awesome artist (and bagel enthusiast 🥯) Inka! If you need a refresher on the two designs we have, here they both are:

This year we are offering both standard t-shirts and pull over hoodies, with an expanded range of sizes compared to last year. Unfortnately, much like last year we can’t ship these, so you’ll have to be attending the event to get one. Or have a friend who’s attending order for you. If you’d like to get one, tap the button below.

Buy Merch

We’re also still accepting suggestions for panels and activities, and dealers for the Dealer’s Den. If that interests you, head to our Get Involved page and fill out one of the linked forms.

Get Involved

There’s not much more for us to say right now, except, thank you! To all of those who have decided to come along this year, and all of those who have supported us the in past.

February 24th, 2021

Panels, Dealers Den, and Volunteering

Hey everyone, me again.

Got a couple things to talk about today, though that’s probably given away by the title of this blog post. We have a few ways you can get involved with the event and we’ll be going through all of those in this post.

First up!

Dealers Den

If you want to be a dealer in our Dealers Den this year and didn’t tick the box on the registration details then please email this and we can add it to your notes

Panels and Events

Like every other fur con we have various panels and events available. If you’d like to run a panel or activity at the event, then go take a look at our get involved page and fill in the form linked under the Panels and Events section.


Running a con is hard work. But we love doing it. Sometimes running a con means that we need help from you in the community with various tasks during the event. If you want to help out then we could do with some help when it comes to serving food during various meals, or helping us clean dishes after the meals.

If you want to help out with that then please take a look at the form linked under the volunteer section of the get involved page.

Go to Get Involved

And finally, the amazing art on this blog post was created by @GaelicNox!

We are looking forward to seeing you all at Waipara at the end of April.
- Votter,

February 17th, 2021

Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for Southern Paws 2021! It’s been a lot of hard work to get to this point, and we’re very lucky to be in one of the few countries in the world where an event like this can be held safely.

For a very quick overview of what we’re offering, see the following infographic!

If you’d like to go ahead and register for the event, hit the button below. If you’d like more information, read on!

Register Now

If you’d like to read more about this years event, you can find all of the details we’ve released so far on our Frequently Asked Questions page. You can also check out our Code Of Conduct if you’d like to know more about any specific policies.

To chat with us and other attendees, you can join our community Telegram group. There’s over 90 people in there, so you’ll have plenty of people to chat to about the event. If you have any questions for our staff, you can use our contact page, or message us on Facebook.

And finally, a quick shoutout to two of the artists who have helped us out this year. Inka made the awesome bit of artwork we have on our homepage, and GaelicNox made the new bit of art you can see above this post! You’ll also be seeing this art on our Facebook and Twitter pages in the future.

From everyone on the Southern Paws team - We look forward to seeing you in April!

February 16th, 2021

Day Passes

Hey everyone.
I know that we only just recently announced the day passes but we already have an update for you. In this post we have a bunch of information, prices, events you can see, and also some limitations

Day Passes will be available for either Saturday, Sunday, or both days.

A day pass for a single day will be $65
A double day pass will cost $115

What is included in a day pass?

Day passes will include access to all the regular activities/panels, Lunch and dinner, and your choice of either air rifles OR archery.

What are the limitations?

The day pass will allow you onsite from 9AM and you must vacate the site by 7PM. Breakfast is not included with a day pass. You will also not be able to attend the dance, as it will be outside of day pass hours.

Also like other tickets you must let us know if you have any dietary requirements before the event when you make your booking.

We cannot wait to see you there in two and a half months.

  • Votter

February 12th, 2021

Things to Know + Registrations Soon!

We’re almost ready to start opening registrations and have a few updates to share. We’ll have more information available over the next few days, but this is what we can share with you now!

Opening and Closing Times

Attendees will be able to show up on-site any time after 2PM on the 30th of April. If you show up earlier, we might have a spot to wait outside, but 2PM is when you’ll be able to enter the camp. You’ll have to be packed up and off-site by 11AM on the 3rd of May, so we have time to get the site clean and tidy for the next group.


We will be operating a shuttle service from Christchurch International Airport to the site again! This service will cost $25, both ways. The shuttles will be running approximately every two hours during the shuttle periods. The times available for the shuttle service are listed below. These are the times that the shuttle will depart, so please be ready by the time noted if you’re getting a ride.

Friday - From Airport

  • 1:00 PM
  • 3:00 PM
  • 5:00 PM
  • 8:00 PM

Monday - To Airport

  • 6:30 AM
  • 8:30 AM
  • 10:30 AM
  • 12:30 PM

Day Passes

We will be offering a Day Pass option this year. We will release information about these before registration opens.

Alcohol Policy

We are pleased to announce that we will be able to allow alcohol at the event this year, after working with our site on a set of rules that we were both happy with.

  • Attendees will be able to bring a maximum of 15 standard drinks for the whole event.
  • Drinks will have to be signed in at registration and tagged by staff.
  • Drinks will be stored by us (the convention staff) in a fridge that won’t be accessable to attendees.
  • You can come and ask us to get one of your drinks if you’d like one.
  • If you’re noticeably intoxicated, we won’t be able to give you any more drinks.
  • Drinks will only be given out between the hours of 7PM and 11PM (we can’t give out drinks while day pass attendees are on-site)

In addition, we have some limits on what drinks are allowed. We are able to allow the following drinks:

  • Standard single-serve bottles (or cans) of beer, cider, or RTDs.
  • Small (airplane-sized, single serve) bottles (or cans) of wine.

All drinks must be in their original (retail) containers.

Don’t get drunk. If you’re intoxicated you will be put in a safe place until you sober up, and you will not be able to consume any more alcohol for the rest of the event.

If you have any more questions, please email us.

And finally…

When are we opening registration?

Registration will be opening at 7PM on Wednesday the 17th of February!
(five sleeps to go)

February 1st, 2021


This year, we decided to shout out a few of the awesome artists who are making and selling themed custom badges for Southern Paws. We could talk more about them - but it’s easier to just show you! So here we go.


From the artist:
Hi I’m Inka :3 these are the badge comms I am doing for con. $20 each, with choice of species, and hat and jacket colour. Here are some completed examples :) my turn around time is a couple of hours to half a day!

You can contact Inka by messaging @InkaMoonDog on Telegram


From the artist:
Haeyyo I’m @haeviary! I’m offering my badges for $35. Badges will be laminated with a ring. Can be mailed or handed at con and come with matching PDF file. All species welcome and edits can be made.

You can contact haeviary by messaging @Haeviary on Telegram


From the artist:
SP21 Con Badges by @Kephelion
- $45NZD each
- YCH any species
- Choice of colouring (clothes, laser, banners etc)
- Male/female options
- Name at the top of the badge
- Hand delivery at con, includes laminated and lanyard (send a digital file also)

You can contact Kephelion by messaging @TKComs on Telegram


From the artist:
Hey hey! My name’s Emete! My badges cost $60nzd per character, and are double sided printed, laminated, and come with their own lanyard!
I can do a different character per side, but please keep in mind that the cost is per character, not badge!

You can contact Emete by messaging @Gaelicnox on Telegram

Granola Rookanga

From the artist:
Might as well throw my own hat into the ring with these badges! Wanted Poster badges for $15 each, with a sketch of your sona, your sona’s name, and a tagline of your choice on the bottom!

You can contact Granola by messaging @granolarookanga on Telegram


From the artist:
Hi, I’m Eddie, the artist of ToxicSoda (, these badges cost 30USD at a base price though talk to me if you want minor changes to the background. you will need to provide a reference for the character and a reference or description of the outfit (or leave it up to me.) they will be printed out and lamanated, if local you can pick them up or I can send them via mail (you pay mailing fees.)

You can contact Eddie by messaging @BasilEisen on Telegram

## Nera

From the artist:
I will only be doing a few slots (at least for now). Any further openings will be more expensive.
50NZD, any outfit (though targeted at the theme is preferred) and any pose! (frame and background are the same though).
Bank Transfer only

any further updates on closure or extra slots will be on Twitter: @ferrilol

You can contact Nera by messaging @NeraChoccoDoggo on Telegram or @ferrilol on Twitter.

January 18th, 2021

2021 Pricing Announcements

Hi Everyone.

I know it has been a while, and I know a lot of you have been eagerly waiting for the prices to be announced for Southern Paws 2021. We wanted to wait until after the new year and holiday period before announcing as we know that a lot of you have extra expenses during that time of year.

The prices for 2021 are as follows

  • Cabin Registration: $400 per person is the base price, but we are offering an early bird price of $375 per person. You’ll share a room with 2 or 5 other people, so plan your groups now!
  • Bunkroom Registration: $370 per person, with an early bird pricing of $345 per person. You’ll share a larger bunkroom with up to 15 others. You won’t get to pick who you room with.

We know that this is more expensive than anticipated by many of you, unfortunately this is largely out of our control. The reasons for the price increase are three fold:

  • Change of time of year is an increase in price as it is peak season for the site due to the warmer weather
  • Longer con, extending the con by a day to be Friday-Monday instead of Friday to Sunday as we, and many of you, believed it was not long enough
  • The site has also increased their prices as well

The costs listed above include accommodation for the entire event, all meals and activities.

We wish we could get the prices lower, but unfortunately that is not possible.

In addition to the prices listed above we will also have a sponsor option that will help keep the con running for future years as well. It is an additional $25 on top of the main ticket price. It will get you a badge that is different to a standard badge, as well as front of line access at meal times.

As per 2019 we will also be running an airport shuttle for $25 per person, this includes a ticket both to and from the site.

We will be opening Registration in mid February for early bird pricing, then normal ticket prices from mid March. In the sign up form there will also be an option to run for panels and an option for shuttles from the airport to the site.

Please start looking into organising people that you want to bunk with ASAP as that is an item on the sign up form.

Southern Paws Fur Con chairman

November 5th, 2020

Announcing Southern Paws 2021!

Hi Everyone.

So it has been a while since well anything has been said about Southern Paws. We know it has been a rough year for most of us, especially those of us with family and friends overseas. Hopefully we can bring some good news.

We will be running Southern Paws in 2021. We will be running it from Friday the 30th of April to Monday the 3rd of May. YES - this does mean we are running it as a longer 4 day/3 night event next year so we will have an extra day at con this year.

The event will be taking place at the same site we were at in 2019 - the Waipara Adventure Center. We have been working on plans for the last few months, and we’re happy that we will be able to run an event next year. The site has been very good in terms of communicating with us and helping us with what we need to know. Right now they have given us the go ahead for the convention next year.

We’d like to announce the theme for next years event is…

So get out your long coat and hat and holster those laser pistols. We’re off to explore the wild, lawless frontier… the final frontier! For a few examples of the theme, think of Firefly, The Mandalorian, Cowboy Bebop, and other similar media.

If anything important changes, we promise to let you know. Pay attention to our various social pages and this blog for any future updates. You can find those below:


We are excited to see everyone at Southern Paws in April next year and we hope you can come.
We will be making more announcements for things like prices, panel calls and the like over the next couple of months.

Con Chairman