Southland’s time to shine

Southland is stepping into a more diverse and sustainable future, thanks to the hard work of Southland Just Transition.

The government’s Budget 23 announcement on Thursday included $100 million to support early adoption of green hydrogen, starting in Southland; building skills, industry knowledge and supply chains.

Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods spoke in Invercargill this morning and announced an additional $8 million in funding for the Southland Just Transition package.

This initiative includes the establishment of a Southland Engineering and Manufacturing Cluster, designed to help local firms diversify their clientele and seize new economic opportunities, while still supporting key existing industries.

Minister Dr Megan Woods announced the package also promised continued backing for the COIN-Southland Start-up and Innovation Ecosystem.

This further boost for Southland Just Transition will help future-proof the region and build its economic resilience.

The Just Transition initiative is a comprehensive plan developed in collaboration with government iwi, agencies, councils, community groups, and businesses and is in place to ensure the region continues to thrive regardless of decisions regarding Tiwai Aluminium Smelter.

The initiative aims to propel economic development, foster innovation, and establish sustainable communities in Southland.

The government is also investing in supporting the growth of Southland’s aquaculture industry.

Southland Just Transition Enduring Oversight Group (EOG) co-chair Aimee Kaio said she welcomed the governments continued support of Southland aquaculture.

The government has already invested $4 million in several regional initiatives, including E tū’s job match programme, thriving Southland’s Food and Fibre Investment Accelerator project and the development of the region’s new Long-Term Plan, Beyond 2025. Additionally, the development of a new community collaboration programme, Murihiku, is underway.

Thursday’s Budget 23 announcement of $100 million to support early adoption of green hydrogen was one of several avenues explored by Southland Just Transition as part of its focus on renewable energy and high-value manufacturing. 

Southland Just Transition Enduring Oversight Group (EOG) co-chair Neil McAra said the government’s support for early adoption of green hydrogen in Southland was a good development. The commitments present an opportunity for Southland to establish new industry while also creating a stronger, more resilient community.