We're focused on strengthening local businesses and supporting initiatives to increase local jobs, incomes and investment.

That’s why we’re investing $2.4 million to support the Southland Action Plan developed by the region to diversify and boost the local economy. Our investment focuses on the areas of aquaculture, tourism, international education, skills training and the primary sector.

We’re also helping Southland better connect to the rest of the country and the world through our $22 million investment in rolling out Ultra-Fast Broadband in Invercargill, with another five Southland towns in the next phase to be connected.

Southland Economic Snapshot

  • 22.9% economic growth since we were elected.
  • 1,500 new jobs created in Southland over the past year.
  • $13,573 increase in average annual wages since 2008, more than double the rate of inflation.
  • 37 more Police for the Southern Police District and a rural location yet to be confirmed in Southland will now have a 24/7 Police presence – as part of our $503m Safer Communities package.


  • $16m for the realignment of SH1 at Edendale and passing lanes on SH1 between Edendale and Invercargill.
  • 9 new cell towers have been built and 19 upgraded in Southland, improving black spots and areas of poor coverage.
  • 5 more towns in Southland to get Ultra-Fast Broadband benefitting more than 10,700 Southlanders in Bluff, Riverton, Te Anau, Otatara and Winton.
  • A new purpose-built heritage centre on Stewart Island will receive more than $1 million in Government funding. Rakiura has a rich and fascinating story to tell, but the current museum was simply too small for an increasingly large and valuable collection. It’s time Stewart Island had an appropriate facility for islanders and visitors to enjoy. The new building will allow up to half of the collection to be displayed, and for the rest to be stored safely and securely. It’s also an environmentally-friendly design which incorporates solar power generation and water collection.


  • 7,200 children in 42 Southland schools benefitting from our $359 million initiative to keep the best teachers in the classroom and share expertise and leadership across schools.
  • 97.7% of young children in Southland participating in early childhood education, helping them get the best start in life.
  • 85.3% of 18-year-olds in Southland achieving NCEA Level 2, an increase of 12.4 percentage points since 2011 – that’s 148 more 18-year-olds.
  • Around 18,000 children in 85 schools in Southland now have access to faster internet with uncapped data thanks to our $211m investment in the N4L Managed Network


  • 48,000 children in Southland and Otago benefitting from our policy of free GP visits and prescriptions for all children aged under 13.
  • 3,100 more patients a year in Southland and Otago receiving elective operations than in 2008.
  • 49,000 60 to 74-year-olds in Southland and Otago will be eligible for our national bowel screening programme, which is being rolled out across the country to help prevent some of around 1,200 deaths each year.
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.

Making a Difference

  • 1,301 people in Southland helped into their first home in the first two years of HomeStart.
  • 20,719 businesses and homes in Southland now able to connect to Ultra-Fast Broadband as part of our $2 billion investment to roll out faster internet across New Zealand.

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