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Great things on the horizon for Southland

The future is looking great with an exciting new identity revealed to drive Southland’s regional success.

Today marks the first official day of trading for the Southland Regional Development Agency and to celebrate a new name has been unveiled.

Great South will be the trading name for the organisation with a new contemporary corporate brand identity also revealed.

Chairman Ian Collier said Great South reflects both the history of regional development to date and the ambitious goals that have been set for the future.

“It’s both who we are and what we want to be, literal in the sense that we are located in the great South and aspirational for what we will strive to be,” he said.

The development of the name and logo has been a collaborative process between the board and a local marketing and communications company and speaks to the exciting future of Southland and the regional development agency.

The new name represents the gritty, determined, passionate and pioneering elements attributed to the Southland region and the use of the koru symbolises the connection between the past and the exciting future.

Great South Chief Executive Ann Lockhart said the new name and corporate look signalled the start of an exciting new chapter.

“It’s now time to maximise on all the work and planning which has been undertaken in the last few years and be inspired by Southland’s unlimited potential to be recognised as the best place to live, work and play,” she said.

Great South has been established to address the challenges that were recognised in the Southland Regional Development Strategy and to implement a renewed sense of focus to growing the region.



The Southland Regional Development Strategy, Action Plan and significant pieces of work that are currently being developed, including the Southland Murihiku Destination Strategy and the Southland Story, will all help to form the initial direction for the organisation.

Ms Lockhart said the main focus of Great South would be to create better lives for all Southlanders through sustainable development, with this approach being evident whether managing, governing, facilitating, advocating for, or owning an initiative.

“There are many exciting changes taking place across the Southland region and we are thrilled to be sitting at the forefront of this change and being part of the work to grow Southland's culture and lifestyle, economic diversity and overall population,” she said.

Southland District Council Mayor and chair of the Southland Regional Development Agency Shareholders Committee Gary Tong said Great South will build on the work previously carried out by Venture Southland.

“While Venture Southland was able to contribute to and achieve many wins for the region, the new commercial focus of Great South will allow ever greater expansion in the area of regional development - the possibilities are endless and we are all looking forward to what the future will hold for our region,” Mayor Tong said.

Great South is a council-controlled organisation with a broad range of shareholders helping to drive regional growth including the Invercargill City Council, Southland District Council, Gore District Council, Environment Southland, Invercargill Licensing Trust, Mataura Licensing Trust, Southland Chamber of Commerce and the Southern Institute of Technology.

Great South also has the support of Community Trust South who is a member of the shareholder committee.

Lockhart is in the role of chief executive while a permanent CEO is recruited. She is looking forward to working with shareholders and staff to form a solid foundation for both Great South and the region moving forward.

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