Ensuring that the region’s transport system (road, rail, air and sea) enables and supports regional growth and wellbeing, while new opportunities and challenges are understood and planned for.

Manapouri Southland New Zealand Credit Videocopter

Murihiku Southland is home to the largest unsealed and second largest overall roading network in the country.

The region is also home to the southernmost commercial deepwater port and the third longest civilian airport runway which enables it to be the only regional airport with jet services. 

Murihiku Southland’s communities, businesses and export economy rely heavily on a strong and robust transport network. This is critical for people to connect, move in and around the region, as well as for moving goods and produce to domestic and international markets.

Economic prosperity will be built around resilient and fit for purpose transport systems which need to be integrated across all four modes.

Beyond 2025 identified three key areas of focus:

  1. Resilient Transport Systems
  2. Low Emissions Transport System
  3. Growing our Freight Capability and Capacity

Next Steps


In Progress

"For a national sustainable long-term planning, financing and funding model for land transport which aligns with and considers asset management best practice, climate change and decarbonisation."

In Progress

"For more equitable allocation of funding for roading and rail in Murihiku Southland including an increase in the FAR for rural councils to reduce local share levels."

Roads and rail | NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (nzta.govt.nz)


Not Yet Started

"Investigation into the development of intermodal freight and distribution facilities to service future industry requirements."

  • Alongside private sector, local and central Government, Great South will facilitate an investigation in 2024/25.

In Progress

"The consideration of recommendations regarding low emissions transport in the Southland Murihiku Regional Energy Strategy and Net Zero Southland Reports alongside existing strategies such as the Regional Land Transport Plan."

In Progress

"That there is a review of the Southland Integrated Transport Strategy 2005 to ensure alignment of all transport modes and future freight requirements.