Southland describes itself as “the New Zealand we all dream of”, with its unmatched rugged beauty providing an attractive natural playground for locals and visitors.

As well as tourism, the region’s economy is based on fishing, forestry, agriculture and energy resources, all of which hold rich opportunities and potential for further growth.

The Southland Regional Development Strategy, launched in October 2015, is a high-level integrated strategy to bring together each of the different regional development efforts taking place.

Southland's action plan for 2015-2025 includes a number of ambitious ways to meet their three main challenges: to diversify its economy, grow its population, and strengthen local business.

Southland Regional Development Strategy Te Iwi Me Oranga Rauemi 

Southland Regional Development Strategy Action Plan (PDF, 8.6 MB)

Fast facts

  • Population:  98,400
  • Average household income: $78,100
  • GDP per capita: $57,785

Southland/Murihiku facts on the Regional Economic Activity Report

Funding announcements

Note: PGF funding is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated. Some funding may depend on completion of business cases. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations, and differ from project to project.

See more details about announcements on the Beehive's Regional Economic Development page.

Region Programme Organisation Amount Date
Southland Rail Freight Opportunities - South Port KiwiRail $ 250,000 23 February 2018
Southland Milford Highway Fibre Connection Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) $ 12,000,000 29 November 2018
Southland Programme Manager - Predator Free Stewart Island Southland District Council $ 100,000 7 January 2019
Southland Water: People Water and Land Strategy Pilot Southland Regional Council $ 300,000 7 January 2019
Southland Southland Story Development Venture Southland $ 18,000 7 January 2019
Southland Southland Hatchery and Nursery feasibility Environment Southland $ 424,976 19 December 2018
Southland Sheep and Goat feasibility*nationwide prog NZ Food Innovation (Food South) $ 490,000 19 December 2018
Southland Invercargill inner city development HWCP Management Limited (HWCP) $ 995,000 19 December 2018