The plan for the future economy, environment, and people of Murihiku Southland has been recognised at the 2023 Economic Development New Zealand Best Practice Awards.
The Beyond 2025 Southland Plan – the regional long-term plan for Murihiku Southland –was awarded Best Practice for Integrated Strategy.
The Plan, facilitated by Great South, was recognised by economic development leaders as demonstrating long-term benefits, an innovative and robust approach, and providing inspiration for other regions across New Zealand.
Beyond 2025 Southland Project Lead, Bobbi Brown, said that while she was delighted to accept the award on behalf of the project team, the real honour was planning for the region’s future.
“To me, when it comes to long-term planning, there isn’t a greater honour than being able to plan for and support the future of the place you proudly call home. This award is testament to the commitment, hard mahi, expertise, and passion of the project team, and to the support and enthusiasm received from the Murihiku Southland community, mana whenua, local councils, and government agencies,”
The Beyond 2025 Southland Plan is evidence-based and built around clear aspirations for Murihiku Southland’s people, environment, and economy. The award highlighted that the development process involved a high degree of partnership and community engagement with surveys, roadshow events and other opportunities to provide feedback.
As the Regional Development Agency for Murihiku Southland, and with its focus on economic diversification, Great South was contracted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to lead the long-term planning work for the region as part of Southland’s Just Transition.
Great South Chief Executive Chami Abeysinghe, who was also there to accept the award at the Gala dinner, said it was wonderful to see the Plan – which was the culmination of an 18-month process and a lot of hard work - recognised at a national level.
“For Murihiku Southland, this plan provides a foundation from which we can embrace opportunities and ensure the most appropriate use of resources to look after our people and place. I am delighted that this work facilitated by Great South has been highlighted and for the inspiration it may provide to other regions in their approach to planning for the future.,”
With additional funding received, Great South is now focused on facilitating the implementation stage of the Beyond 2025 Southland Plan.