Southland Regional Development Strategy

The Southland Regional Development Strategy is a unified, Southland-wide response to the challenge of a shrinking population. The goal of the Strategy is to have 10,000 more people living in Southland by 2025.

The formula of the Strategy, initiated by the Mayoral Forum and funded by the four local councils, is simple: more people will seek to study, live and work in Southland when perceived negatives such as the tyranny of distance and climate are exceeded by perceived benefits of jobs, discretionary income, quality of life, lifestyle and environment.

The Strategy Action Plan was launched on 30 November 2016 with a range of projects to give the region a broader and more resilient base by targeting population growth, economic diversity, and strengthening employment, skills and incomes. Related links:



Late 2014: The strategy was commissioned by Southland’s Mayoral Forum

From 2014 to October 2015: The strategy was developed and stake-holders in the social, business, iwi, community, local government and education sectors were consulted.

October 2015: The strategy was delivered to the Mayoral Forum. The Governance Group was formed, a team of Southland’s best leaders with the skills and expertise to “make it happen”.

December 2015: Nine action teams were established.

July 2016 – planned: The nine teams’ action plans are delivered to the Governance Group.

November 30 2016: Strategy Action Plan launched; Air NZ MOU signed.