An integrated approach to economic and community development


  • J. Troon



Over the past 10 years, the Southland District Council has developed a proactive integrated approach to economic development. The approach has developed in response to identified needs and opportunities. The strategy recognises the importance of quality recreational opportunities, local services, amenities and infrastructure in the retention of population and attraction of new residents. These are seen as being complementary to initiatives targeted at producing increased employment opportunities. Regional initiatives are undertaken with other authorities or organisations where appropriate, and include: • Tourism Southland • Regional Identity - Branding • Crops for Southland • Topoclimate • Enterprise Connections. A close working relationship and accountability to local communities is maintained through elected members. These include the Mayor, Councillors and 12 Community Boards and 16 Community Development Area Committees. Concept development plans, prepared in conjunction with local communities, provide the basis for identifying local aspirations and priorities and linking these, where appropriate, to regional initiatives to ensure an integrated approach is achieved. A project-based approach and working with groups or organisations with a clear focus and expertise relevant to the project or issue, ensures effective use of resources and the achievement of positive outcomes. Keywords: crops, climate, economic development, forestry, soils, tourism