A plan for Southland’s future

20 Nov 2019

VS_Great South_Koru

The future is looking great with a clear plan announced to drive economic and social growth for the Southland region.

Great South – Southland’s regional development agency – has today revealed its vision for the future, highlighting the areas of focus that it believes will deliver significant benefits for Southland.

Chairman Ian Collier said Great South had been established to help address the challenges identified in the Southland Regional Development Strategy and embrace a renewed focus to driving economic and social growth.

“We are now excited to share with the broader community how we are going to work alongside them to encourage the future prosperity of this incredible region,”

Mr Collier said the organisation would work across five key areas; regional economic development, business development services, regional tourism development, regional events delivery and regional wellbeing, with a vision to deliver even better lives through sustainable development.

“We are inspired by the unlimited potential of this region and believe that together these areas of focus allow us to establish a strong foundation for regional growth and ensure Southland continues to be a driving force of the New Zealand economy,”

Mr Collier said that the vision of the organisation would be evident whether Great South is involved in managing, governing, facilitating, advocating for, or owning an initiative.

As part of revealing the organisation’s vision for the future, Great South also launched the Southland Murihiku Destination Strategy.

The development of the strategy was initiated following a recommendation from the Southland Regional Development Strategy and involved Stafford Strategy (the agency commissioned to develop the strategy) carrying out extensive consultation and research throughout the region.

Consultant Albert Stafford said the Strategy highlighted the importance Great South and the wider Southland region placed on developing a sustainable approach to regional tourism development.

”Whilst the Southland region includes some of the most stunning natural environments in New Zealand, this Strategy will ensure there are the tourism and recreational products, amenities, infrastructure and support needed to achieve visitor growth, and more importantly, encourage stronger visitor spend,”

Great South Chief Executive Ann Lockhart said that with the vision for Great South, its key areas of focus, and the launch of the Southland Murihiku Strategy, Southland was now in the driving seat to shape its future development.

“We have the vision, the people and the strategies to encourage a more contemporary, connected and competitive Southland region, now it’s time to maximise this potential and leverage greater success for the Southland region,”

Ms Lockhart said strong backing from local authorities, the private and public sector and Great South’s shareholders; Invercargill City Council, Southland District Council, Gore District Council, Environment Southland, Southland Chamber of Commerce, Southern Institute of Technology, Invercargill Licensing Trust, Mataura Licensing Trust and Community Trust South gave Great South a clear mandate to drive regional growth.