Southlanders are able to embrace change due to their resilience and connectedness.

Invercargill CamB2 8K

Murihiku Southland communities consist of people who feel a sense of belonging, of being free to be themselves, valued and accepted for who they are.

When faced with challenges, the approach is to ensure Southlanders are as resilient and prepared as possible to embrace change and opportunity. A key part of this is ensuring people remain connected and have opportunities to be together 

There are three key areas of focus: 

  1. Building resilience including leveraging the strength of the connectedness between our rural communities and supporting our network of 2,300 not for profit groups and its volunteers.
  2. Providing facilities and spaces to enable people to connect. 
  3. Building digital capability to enhance people’s ability to communicate, particularly to address geographic isolation and acknowledging an ageing population.

Next Steps


In Progress

"Ongoing support and resourcing of the Strong Communities Murihiku initiative."

  • The Connected Murihiku project aims to bring multiple agencies, organisations and people together, build connection and resilience and ensure we get the best out of all the community and social activity in Murihiku.

In Progress

"That there is ongoing support to protect our taonga and share our heritage through the Southland Regional Heritage Committee and other initiatives."

  • Invercargill City Council’s $65.5m Project 1225 is bringing a new museum, tuatara enclosure and storage facility to Invercargill and Murihiku by December 2025.  The tuatara closure at Queens Park was recently opened in June 2024.
  • The Tisbury Storage Facility was finished late 2023 and the transfer of taonga from the Southland Museum and Art Gallery has been completed.

In Progress

"That there is a focus on supporting the provision of new and existing multi-purpose facilities which provide places for people to connect."

  • The Murihiku Marae opened in June 2023 following an extensive redevelopment.  This vibrant community hub will enable Waihōpai Rūnaka to expand its community support services, operate as a Civil Defence Emergency Centre, provide papakāinga housing and a hub for educational initiatives in Murihiku Southland.
  • The new $7.7m Gore District Library was opened in March 2023.

In Progress

"That the Invercargill City Council’s continued leadership in focusing on “Our City with Heart – He Ngākau Aroha” will ensure the next stages of the Invercargill CBD rejuvenation are investigated and implemented."

In Progress

"Active Southland and key stakeholders implement the Regional Spaces and Places Strategy."

  • Active Southland is facilitating this Strategy's implementation alongside a number of organisations.  This work aims to create and implement a more aligned approach to the regional planning of spaces and places, relating to play, active recreation and sport, across the region.

In Progress

"That people have access to and can use digital technology."

Not Yet Started

"Community organisations are supported to attract and retain volunteers."


In Progress

"For Councils to consider communities of interest which means there is a need for a regional focus to ensure the best provision of services, facilities and amenities for Southlanders."

  • There are a number of shared services across all Councils and more will be explored.

In Progress

"For our people and businesses to have equitable access to affordable and reliable telecommunications and there is ongoing monitoring of current service provision."

  • Great South annually delivers the Digital Connectivity Report which assesses and maps mobile phone coverage and other connectivity across the region.  Key concerns and service gaps are elevated to Crown Infrastructure.