The region’s future energy needs will be supported in a clean and resilient way, while ensuring affordability for communities and remaining globally competitive for exporters and new industry.

Dark Skies Bluff Southland New Zealand Credit Videocopter 1

Affordable and reliable energy supply has been one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s competitive advantages.

This has to be the central objective of a renewable energy future, ensuring affordability for our communities and globally competitive energy pricing for exporters and industry. 

Southern New Zealand has abundant renewable energy opportunities including wind, solar and run of river hydro. The Murihiku Southland Regional Energy Strategy 2022-2050 has identified that the demand for renewable energy in Murihiku Southland is expected to more than double over the next seven years to meet decarbonisation, electricity-based transport, and new industry investment including Green Hydrogen production.

There is already identified demand for 1200MW of new electricity generation, and for growing the availability of woody biomass by 360,000 tonnes per annum to decarbonise large boilers over the next 6 years.  The certainty of the future of the New Zealand Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) at Tiwai Point provides confidence and will support the realisation of the full potential of the region’s renewable energy opportunities.

Energy key enablers

There are three areas of focus for a renewable energy future – Energy Security, Equity and Environmental Sustainability

By developing clean, resilient, and affordable energy in Murihiku Southland, the region can become the renewable energy hub for the whole South Island.

Next Steps


In Progress

"Work alongside national bodies to prepare for and understand new industry workforce requirements."

In Progress

"Investigate new generation and renewable energy investment within the region, with particular emphasis on renewable opportunities for Rakiura Stewart Island and Piopiotahi Milford Sound."

  • Investigation into new generation and renewable energy investment is underway.

In Progress

"Advocate for government funding initiatives through the Climate Change Emergency Response Fund and Equitable Transitions Package to assist with regional decarbonisation efforts (Regional Hydrogen Industry Transition and Renewable Electricity Option on Rakiura Stewart Island)."

In Progress

"Advocate for coordinated regional advocacy to inform the national policy frameworks."


In Progress

"Establishment of a regional coordinated Energy Steering Group with a focus to:

  • Implement the Murihiku Southland Energy Strategy 2022 – 2050.
  • Provide technical and consent expertise to local authorities. 
  • Ensure planning frameworks and spatial plans incorporate new energy investment, considering geographic location and resilience of networks. 
  • Create a community-wide engagement awareness and education programme."

Great South will facilitate the establishment of this Group in the 3rd quarter of 2024.