Southlanders should have the same opportunities for equity in wellbeing, as other New Zealanders.

Stewart Island Southland New Zealand Credit Jeremy Pierce 23

The wellbeing of the region’s people and communities is vital to having a thriving population with happy, healthy people.

Both local and central government support this by applying a four wellbeings lens to their approach (social, economic, environment and cultural) and through the Living Standards Framework. 

Of highest priority when looking at wellbeing is equity, including equity with the rest of New Zealand. Equity is about understanding that everyone in society needs to be given an equal chance of succeeding in life; a lack of equity is often visible through inequality in outcomes. Inequities generally arise when certain population groups are unfairly deprived of basic resources that are available to other groups.

Having a small population in the second largest geographic region in Aotearoa New Zealand has both advantages and disadvantages. It provides lifestyle and a valued way of life, but it also creates challenges with a small ratepayer base bearing the burden of looking after a large geographic area. The following areas of focus are highlighted to ensure that Southlanders are not disadvantaged because of where they live and by being a small population:

  • Access to quality healthcare
  • Food resilience
  • Active and public transport
  • Education

Next Steps


In Progress

"That there is support for local initiatives to grow edible food in parks and reserves."

Not Yet Started

"The development of a Regional Active Transport Strategy."

  • Active Southland are supporting the investigation of active transport in the region, including the employment of an Active Transport Coordinator.

In Progress

"The Hokonui Locality initiative is supported including the next stages of implementation."

  • The Hokonui Locality initiative is one of 12 prototypes trialing a new approach to ensure our communities receive the healthcare they require.  A Locality Plan has been developed and further opportunities, services and programmes are being explored.

In Progress

"Not-for-profit health organisations are supported to deliver community led health solutions at place."

In Progress

"That it is a priority to ensure people can access healthcare through the provision of practical and affordable transport options, particularly where there is no public transport option."

In Progress

"The region actively contributes to rural health strategic planning and ensures that new digital services such as telehealth are supported as long as they do not create inequities in service provision for our people."


In Progress

"For a strong aligned regional voice advocating for equity in the provision of healthcare, particularly considering rural areas."

In Progress

"For healthcare facilities such as hospitals to be fit for purpose to meet the current and future needs of Southlanders."

In Progress

"For Government to empower our region to deliver local solutions to local circumstances e.g., learnings of SIT | Te Pūkenga."

In Progress

"To ensure the benefits of agricultural exports are balanced with the needs and concerns of local residents."