The Southland Economic Project

The Southland Economic Project is all about working together to develop ways of understanding the economic impacts of setting limits for water quality in Southland.

The project ran alongside the science programme and other work on community and tangata whenua values, bringing together technical information so that different options can be tested for managing water in each catchment.

The project was a joint initiative between DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Department of Conservation, Ministry for the Environment, Ministry for Primary Industries, Southland Chamber of Commerce, Te Ao Mārama, and Environment Southland. A wider group of organisations were involved in the project, including the three local councils (Gore District Council, Invercargill City Council, and Southland District Council), Deer Industry New Zealand, Southland Branch - New Zealand Deer Farmers' Association, Foundation for Arable Research, and Horticulture New Zealand.

Addressing environmental issues such as water quality is a complex task. The economic work, like everything else, isn't simple or easy, and this research is helping to develop ways of understanding possible economic impacts:


Urban and Industry (17.7Mb)

Agriculture and Forestry (17.1Mb)

Since 2014 we have been gathering information on the financial costs of dealing with discharges to water into two comprehensive reports. The information in these reports is being used in a model of Southland's economy.

The rural and urban parts of a community rely on each other, and what happens in one community is likely to flow through to other communities across the region in complex ways. The economic model will be used to build an understanding of the possible economic impacts of setting "limits" for water quality in Southland.

The Urban and Industry Report brings together research carried out by Southland's four councils on municipal wastewater schemes from 2016-2017. Through this research, a set of eight town case studies has been produced looking at wastewater treatment systems.

The Agriculture and Forestry Report brings together research that agricultural industry groups and Environment Southland have undertaken on 95 farms across the region from 2014 - 2016. The report and the research have been strongly supported by these groups and is the product of a huge amount of hard work on behalf of Southland farmers and growers. The set of farm case studies is recognised as one of the most extensive datasets of its type in New Zealand.

Please note: The links above are to large documents. If you are concerned about downloading it, then please get in touch.

To order a printed copy ($40 + GST plus $10 postage and packaging if required), please call 0800 76 88 45 or email the project manager: Emma Moran.