Settlement Support Coordinator
143 Spey St
phone: 03 211 1803
Visit the Southland Settlement Support website
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Southland is New Zealand's southernmost region, and includes both the world famous Fiordland National Park, and the country’s 3rd largest island - Rakiura, or Stewart Island – which is also 85% national park.
Like Otago, the Southland area was colonised by many Scottish settlers, and it was one of the first areas to start dairy farming for export. The first dairy factory in the colony opened in Southland in 1882 at Edendale, which is now the site of the largest raw milk-processing plant in the world.
Agriculture is big, but there is much more. Southland’s world heritage status national park helps the region attract around a quarter of the tourist dollars spent in New Zealand each year. Other key industries include forestry, fishing, light engineering – and aluminium smelting.
A large scale engineering project in the 1970’s created the country’s largest hydro-electric power station at Lake Manapouri, primarily to power a proposed aluminium smelter at Tiwai Point, at Bluff. Both the power station and the smelter are now tightly integrated into the region’s economy.
With the country’s lowest average house prices, coupled with nationally competitive salaries, a discretionary income can be easier to achieve here than anywhere else in New Zealand.
The outdoor recreation opportunities available to residents are vast, and while winters can be cold, this does not deter residents who simply dress for the conditions – and summers can be remarkably warm and long when the weather is settled. The latitude also means occasional views of Aurora Australis or the "Southern Lights".
Southland’s main city of Invercargill has all the key amenities, including the Southern Institute of Technology which offers zero-fees tuition for many of it’s courses. This innovative approach is typical of the region’s attitude.
As with many regions in New Zealand, a combination of excellent lifestyle prospects and future employment growth continues to make Invercargill and Southland a great place to settle.
The government also provides support for newcomers to create their own local networks.
To find out more, visit the Southland Newcomers Network.
The Newcomers Network is supported by Settling In, an initiative of Family and Community Services (Ministry of Social Development).