Wharenoho Ahupori


It is a priority to develop quality housing to better meet the needs of current and future Southlanders.

Housing pic Gore

Murihiku Southland is often overlooked in the housing discussion due to the region’s stable population and low prices of homes.

The past 5 years show a concerning trend with the overall housing system significantly worsening in Murihiku Southland, compared to national averages. This is supported with research and consultation undertaken as part of the Beyond 2025 planning process including a housing stocktake of all 46,761 homes and a needs assessment which looked at current and future demand and associated sufficiency.

  • Rental affordability and mortgage serviceability have deteriorated at a faster rate in Murihiku Southland compared to the national average and the major centres.
  • House prices have accelerated at a much faster rate across the region than the national average, combined with income growth below the national average and this is resulting in Southlanders struggling with housing affordability.
  • Social housing demand is growing faster compared to the New Zealand average and the main centres.
  • Social housing stock has not kept up with demand with Murihiku Southland’s stock only increasing at a third of the rate of the New Zealand average.

Even with significant constraints, our economy continues to grow at well above the national average rate. While this is 
heartening and a testament to our resilience, we cannot continue to sustain this without intervention.

Without intervention, GDP growth could be affected as over half of all of our employers are struggling to recruit and retain staff due to the poor quality and location of our housing stock. We have a higher number of older homes than elsewhere and by 2052 about a quarter of all our homes could be 100 years old. This means we may need to replace 10,000 homes by then.

Great South has recently facilitated the development of the Murihiku Southland Housing Action Plan.  This Plan identifies 13 projects across 3 areas of focus and clearly prioritises the need to first and foremost set ourselves up for success.  This Plan has been made to support a range of stakeholders associated with housing and build on the success achieved by many to date.

Our goal is to support and enable our community and private sector to deliver quality homes (both retrofit and new builds) to meet the needs of Southlanders and to ensure our economy thrives. However, at the heart of it is a fundamental belief that everyone should have shelter and a place to call home.


Next Steps


In Progress

"Establishment of a Regional Housing Forum."

  • A discussion document outlining options to best set up the region's approach to housing will be developed by mid to late 2024 for consideration by regional leaders.

In Progress

"Development of a Regional Digital Housing Portal."

  • This is identified as a priority project in the Housing Action Plan and is scheduled to be developed by Great South by June 2025.

Not Yet Started

"A focus on housing innovation (kitset, tiny homes, employer built, mobile housing for construction projects / seasonal workers)."

  • A toolkit of case studies will be developed which illustrates innovative and diverse housing solutions to encourage the development of more affordable homes. 

Not Yet Started

"That there is a review of existing housing stock with a focus on incentivising brownfields development and supporting Southland homeowners (initiatives to modernise)."

  • The Housing Action Plan recommends that there are deeper insights and assessment of the condition and useful life of our homes, to better inform the approach over the next 30 years.

Not Yet Started

"Development of new social, community and papakāinga housing with a particular focus on housing for our ageing population."

  • The Housing Action Plan recommends that there is an investigation into current and future older aged people in our region to ensure we match their housing needs with supply.


In Progress

"For ongoing funding of initiatives and groups that improve the supply of quality housing."

  • Invercargill City Council have recently requested residents consider extra funding from rates to renew and replace their 216 aging housing units for elderly people faster. 

In Progress

"For data and insights to support Government to increase the provision of social housing in the region."

  • Housing data will be available on the Data Insights Southland Hub (DISH)
  • The Housing Action Plan recommends the development of an Annual Housing Situation Report as well as investigations into the Ageing sector, Long Term Rental Accommodation and the Condition of housing.

In Progress

"Renewable energy options for consumers to support the development of warm and healthy homes."

In Progress

"For alignment between current spatial planning and residential land being designated for housing."

  • Invercargill City Council is currently updating their District Plan to promote better designed housing and allow increased density in some areas, and to investigate opportunities to make the best use of Council land, some of which may be suitable for housing development.
  • The Te Anau Basin Development Plan will provide a detailed level of urban and spatial planning that will enhance Te Anau, Manapouri and the wider area as a place to live, work and visit.

In Progress

"That Councils enable housing in the region through their leadership, planning and regulatory functions."

  • Councils are currently reviewing or drafting their individual approaches regarding housing which define their roles as enablers, providers and/or regulators ICC HousingSDC Housing, GDC Housing