Beyond 2025 Southland


Great South facilitated development of the Beyond 2025 Southland Regional Long-Term Plan, as one of the workstreams of the Government’s Southland Just Transition.

Bluff Southland New Zealand Credit Jeremy Pierce 4

The Southland Just Transition was put in place as a result of Rio Tinto announcing it would be winding down its operations at the NZ Aluminium Smelter at Tiwai Point, initially by August 2021, then extended to 2024. Given the significant impact closure of the smelter would have on the Murihiku Southland economy, this allowed the region time to prepare for change. One of the workstreams of Just Transition was to develop a long-term plan for Murihiku Southland.

As the Regional Development Agency, and with its focus on economic diversification, Great South was contracted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to lead this long-term planning work for the region.


Plan Development

Development of the plan included 16 workstreams within five areas of focus that centred around our people, place and environment and which built on the previous work of the Southland Regional Development Strategy (SoRDs)

The 18-month development process involved much of the Murihiku Southland community, including partnerships with councils, mana whenua, the business sector, local community organisations, individuals and government agencies. It also involved a high degree of community engagement with surveys, roadshow events and other opportunities to provide feedback.

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Plan Launch

The resulting Beyond 2025 Southland Regional Long-Term Plan was launched at Te Rau o te Huia, Invercargill, on 28 June 2023. Many stakeholders from around the motu involved in developing the plan were present for the celebration of this key milestone.

The Plan is evidence-based and includes more than 20 pieces of research, eight of which were commissioned as part of the Plan. Some of these include the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, Employer Workforce Insights, the Invercargill City Council CBD Rejuvenation Community and Retailer Research and Population Demographic and Industry Future Modelling. Other Great South ‘business as usual’ work also inputted into the Plan, including a review of the Murihiku Southland Destination Strategy, Community Sentiment Tourism Research and Southland Regional Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for 2021.

Stewart Island Southland New Zealand Credit Liz Carlson 5

Implementation Phase

With support from MBIE, Great South facilitated the first year of implementation of the Beyond 2025 Southland plan. This involved delivery of four key streams of work by Great South alongside other organisations. Efforts were made to align the work with council long-term planning processes considering 2024 was a key year for their long-term planning.

The ultimate outcome is that Murihiku Southland is as prepared as possible to embrace opportunities and ensure the most appropriate use of resources to best look after our people and place.