Otago has made a huge contribution to New Zealand’s thriving economy through tourism growth, farming, construction, and business development.

We want the region to maintain this momentum and will continue to invest in infrastructure, and essential community services like health and education, to achieve this growth.

We’re also helping Otago better connect to the rest of the country and the world through our $114 million investment in rolling out Ultra-Fast Broadband in  the region.

Otago’s thriving business communities are key to the region’s success and we want to continue to focus on infrastructure, R&D and small businesses support, to ensure their on-going success.

Otago Economic Snapshot

  • 36.8% economic growth since National was elected.
  • 2,800 new jobs created in Otago over the past year.
  • $7,235 increase in average annual wages in Otago since 2008, well above the rate of inflation.
  • 37 more Police for the Southern Police District, which covers Otago, and three new areas - Balclutha, Wanaka and Alexandra - will now have a 24/7 Police presence – as part of our $503m Safer Communities package.


  • $14.7m for a new Regional Research Institute in the form of Central Otago’s Centre for Space Science Technology.
  • $15m on a road safety engineering programme across key tourist routes in Otago and Southland as part of the Visiting Drivers Programme.
  • 12 more towns in Otago to get Ultra-Fast Broadband, benefitting an additional 36,000 people in places like Wanaka, Alexandra, Milton, Balclutha and Cromwell.
  • $45m for improvements to the Caversham Highway in Dunedin - one of the largest roading projects to be delivered in Dunedin in decades.
  • We’re investing $22m in the new Kawarau Falls Bridge in Queenstown and a further $21.3m for the Eastern Access Road to help relieve congestion.
  • We’re investing $20m in restoring the Dunedin Courthouse.
  • Work is set to start next month on a cycleway through central Dunedin that will improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and all road users. Fulton Hogan has been awarded an $8 million contract to build new cycle lanes on the north and southbound streets of the State Highway 1 one-way system between the Dunedin Botanical Gardens and Queens Gardens. In addition to improving the safety of the one-way system for everyone, the new cycle lanes will create better linkages to central city locations including the University, Polytechnic, hospital and the central city itself. It will also provide more convenient connections to the wider network of urban cycle routes being developed by the Dunedin City Council.


  • 11,900 children in 61 schools in Otago benefitting from our $359m initiative to keep the best teachers in the classroom and share expertise and leadership across schools.
  • 98.4% of young children in Otago participating in early childhood education, helping them get the best start in life.
  • 89.7% of 18-year-olds in Otago achieving NCEA Level 2, an increase of 9 percentage points since 2011 – that’s 215 more 18-year-olds.
  • $15m for two Centres of Research Excellence at the University of Otago - Brain Research New Zealand and the Dodd-Walls Centre.
  • Around 33,700 children in 144 schools in Otago now have access to faster internet with uncapped data thanks to our $211m investment in the N4L Managed Network.


  • 48,000 children in Otago and Southland benefitting from our policy of free GP visits and prescriptions for all children aged under 13.
  • 49,000 60 to 74-year-olds in Otago and Southland will be eligible for our bowel screening programme, which is being rolled out across NZ to  help prevent some of around 1,200 deaths each year.
  • We’re investing $11m in a new Critical Care Unit at Dunedin Hospital and are committed to redeveloping the Hospital and have earmarked funding for the project.
  • 3,100 more patients a year in Otago and Southland receiving elective operations than in 2008.
Southern DHB
  • As of 31 March 2017 there were over 510 doctor full-time equivalents and over 1,430 nurse full-time equivalents employed by the Southern DHB. That’s over 90 more doctors and over 170 more nurses compared to 2008.
  • Southern DHB will receive an extra $31 million in new money this year, taking the DHB’s total funding to $914 million for 2017/18. That’s an extra $223 million in funding over the last nine years.
  • Between 2008 to 2016, in the Southern DHB:
    • Elective surgeries are up 33%.
    • Orthopaedic elective surgeries are up 19%.
    • Cataract surgeries are up 65%.
    • First Specialist Assessments are up 16%.

Making a Difference

  • 2,036 people in Otago helped into their first home in the first two years of HomeStart.
  • 53,527 businesses and homes in Otago now able to connect to Ultra-Fast Broadband as part of our $2 billion investment to rollout faster internet across New Zealand.


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