Role and priorities


Our role is to deliver our agreed work programmes, and maintain our ability to respond to emergencies or changing circumstances. We detail our proposed activities in our current Long-term Plan (LTP) ​which is developed every three years in consultation with the public, and then formally adopted by councillors.


The Strategic Plan for Environment Southland identifies five focus areas, which guide our Long-term Plans until 2025. The focus areas are:

1. Land, Water and Coastal Management

This is by far the largest area of responsibility for us. Three areas – land, water and coast – have been brought together in one strategic focus area to give recognition to the importance of a holistic “mountains to sea” (Ki uta ki tai) approach of managing our catchments.

2. ​Air Quality

Southland is catching up with other areas of the country in terms of air quality outcomes, and there are particular problems in the urban areas of Invercargill and Gore resulting from home heating using burners in the winter months.

3. Biosecurity & Biodiversity

Biosecurity encompasses controlling or managing terrestrial and marine plant and animal pests. There is also a strong emphasis on biodiversity, from a desire to have not only environmental protection, but a quality and varied environment even in “working” areas such as farmland.

4. Risks & Natural Hazards

We have a responsibility to protect natural and man-made assets from hazards such as floods and earthquakes. A significant consideration in this regard is the potential impact of climate change.

5. ​Transport

Our role in this area is to assist at a strategic planning level, and to provide a framework for the efficient movement of goods and people throughout the region.

Page reviewed: 14 Jul 2016 11:35am