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Notice is hereby given that a Meeting of the Policy Review Committee will be held on:




Meeting Room:



Wednesday, 7 October 2015


Council Chambers
15 Forth Street


Policy Review Committee Agenda








Rodney Dobson



Mayor Gary Tong



Lyall Bailey



Stuart Baird



Brian Dillon



John Douglas



Paul Duffy



Bruce Ford



George Harpur



Julie Keast



Ebel  Kremer



Gavin Macpherson



Neil Paterson





Chief Executive

Steve Ruru


Committee Advisor

Fiona Dunlop





Contact Telephone: 0800 732 732

Postal Address: PO Box 903, Invercargill 9840




Full agendas are available on Council’s Website




Terms of Reference for Policy Review Committee


This committee is a committee of Southland District Council and has responsibility to:


·                    Review Council policies on a regular basis as to their relevancy and appropriateness.


·                    Recommend new policies or changes to existing policies as required.


·                    Ascertain the impact of proposed Government legislation on Council policies or activities and make responses/submissions on regional matters, SOEs, etc.


·                    Review Asset Management Plans (including the renewal policy) for Council's infrastructural assets such as roading, water and sewage schemes and other Council property.


Policy Review Committee

07 October 2015

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ITEM                                                                                                                                   PAGE


1          Apologies                                                                                                                        5

2          Leave of absence                                                                                                           5

3          Conflict of Interest                                                                                                         5

4          Public Forum                                                                                                                  5

5          Extraordinary/Urgent Items                                                                                          5

6          Confirmation of Minutes                                                                                               5


7.1       Venture Southland Community Development Update                                            11

7.2       Venture Southland Projects and Activities Report - July/August 2015                39


1          Apologies


At the close of the agenda no apologies had been received.


2          Leave of absence


At the close of the agenda no requests for leave of absence had been received.


3          Conflict of Interest

Committee Members are reminded of the need to be vigilant to stand aside from decision-making when a conflict arises between their role as a member and any private or other external interest they might have.


4          Public Forum

Notification to speak is required by 5pm at least two days before the meeting. Further information is available on or phoning 0800 732 732.


5          Extraordinary/Urgent Items

To consider, and if thought fit, to pass a resolution to permit the committee to consider any further items which do not appear on the Agenda of this meeting and/or the meeting to be held with the public excluded.

Such resolution is required to be made pursuant to Section 46A(7) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, and the Chairperson must advise:

(i)      The reason why the item was not on the Agenda, and

(ii)     The reason why the discussion of this item cannot be delayed until a subsequent meeting.

Section 46A(7A) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (as amended) states:

“Where an item is not on the agenda for a meeting,-

(a)     That item may be discussed at that meeting if-

(i)      That item is a minor matter relating to the general business of the local authority; and

(ii)      the presiding member explains at the beginning of the meeting, at a time when it is open to the public, that the item will be discussed at the meeting; but

(b)     no resolution, decision or recommendation may be made in respect of that item except to refer that item to a subsequent meeting of the local authority for further discussion.”


6          Confirmation of Minutes

6.1         Meeting minutes of Policy Review Committee, 26 August 2015


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Policy Review Committee






Minutes of a meeting of Policy Review Committee held in the Council Chambers, 15 Forth Street, Invercargill on Wednesday, 26 August 2015 at 10.30am.





Rodney Dobson



Lyall Bailey



Stuart Baird



Brian Dillon



John Douglas



Paul Duffy



Bruce Ford



George Harpur



Julie Keast



Ebel Kremer



Gavin Macpherson



Neil Paterson



Mayor Gary Tong





Chief Executive Steve Ruru, Group Manager Environmental and Community Bruce Halligan, Group Manager Services and Assets Ian Marshall, General Manager Policy and Community Rex Capil, Strategy and Policy Manager Susan Cuthbert, Communications and Governance Manager Louise Pagan, Chief Information Officer Damon Campbell, Committee Advisor Debbie Webster, Chief Executive Venture Southland, Paul Casson, General Manager Events, Tourism and Community Venture Southland, Bobbi Brown, Community Development Planner Venture Southland, Juanita Thornton,  ILT Kidzone Festival Director Venture Southland, Sally Hayes, Group Manager Enterprise and Strategic Projects Venture Southland, Steve Canny and Trade and Media Marketing Coordinator Venture Southland, Hannah White.



1          Apologies


Apologies for absence were received from Crs Paterson, Macpherson and Harpur.  An apology for lateness was received from Cr Duffy.


Moved Cr Douglas, seconded Cr Keast and resolved that the Policy Review Committee accept the apologies.


2          Leave of absence


There were no requests for leave of absence.


3          Conflict of Interest


            There were no conflicts of interest declared.


4          Public Forum

There was no Public Forum.


5          Extraordinary/Urgent Items

There were no Extraordinary/Urgent items.


6          Confirmation of Minutes


Moved Cr Bailey, seconded Cr Ford  and resolved that the Policy Review Committee confirms the minutes of the meeting held on 15 July 2015.



Reports for Recommendation



Action Sheet Report Policy Review Committee meeting 15 July 2015

Record No:         R/15/7/12943





Moved Cr Keast, seconded Cr Dillon and resolved that the Policy Review Committee:

a)         Receives the report titled “Action Sheet Report Policy Review Committee meeting 15 July 2015” dated 19 August 2015.

b)         Determines that this matter or decision be recognised not as significant in terms of Section 76 of the Local Government Act 2002.

c)         Determines that it has complied with the decision-making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 to the extent necessary in relation to this decision; and in accordance with Section 79 of the Act determines that it does not require further information, further assessment of options or further analysis of costs and benefits or advantages and disadvantages prior to making a decision on this matter.







Report to Policy Review Committee - Venture Southland Community Development Update

Record No:         R/15/7/11569


Mrs Thornton spoke to her report on the research, plans and strategies and local initiatives of the Waihopai/Toetoes Ward.  Highlighting the Southland Cycling Strategy in conjunction with Sport Southland, Around the Mountains Cycle Trail, Southland Visitor Strategy, Volunteer Research, Declining Population Research (noting Natalie Jackson’s visit to Council for a workshop in November), Southland Heritage Research (75% completed) and Southern NZ Cruise Destination Strategy (looking at how to increase economic benefit for all of Southland). 


Local initiatives include the Curio Bay Natural Heritage Centre (reapplying to Lottery funding), Edendale Community Centre (plans drawn up to extend and upgrade the Edendale Rugby Club building), Wyndham Facilities Review, Edendale/Wyndham Pool Rating, Wyndham Museum, Brydone Community Centre, Southland Racers and Trainers Association and Edendale Scouts.  As well as Edendale School updating school mural, Glenham Tunnel, Wyndham War Memorial and Pine Bush installation of an information kiosk and memorial plaque.  Other local initiatives in Tokanui and the Catlins include Fortrose Foreshore, Tokanui Skate Park, South Catlins Promotions, Tokanui Golf Club, Tokanui Memorial Hall, Freedom Camping and Waikawa and the Ultra-Fast Broadband, Rural Broadband and Mobile Services.  Gorge Road initiatives include Gorge Road CDA and Gorge Road Jubilee Committee.  Woodlands initiatives include the Woodlands CDA exploring a walking track and the Woodlands Rugby Club fundraising for maintenance projects.




Moved Cr Keast, seconded Cr Kremer and resolved that the Policy Review Committee:

a)         Receives the report titled “Report to Policy Review Committee - Venture Southland Community Development Update” dated 13 August 2015.




2015 ILT Kidzone Festival Report

Record No:         R/15/8/13673


Mr Casson introduced Ms Hayes to the Policy Review Committee.  Ms Hayes acknowledged and thanked the Southland District Council for the support given to ILT Kidzone, noting the subsidised bus that bought families from all over Southland to the festival. 


A video presentation of highlights from the festival was shown to the Committee.  Ms Hayes noted 11,000 tickets were sold for the six day festival, which was supported by over 200 volunteers.  Cr Dobson asked if the volunteers were regulars from previous years.  Ms Hayes responded many of them were and often had attended the festival over the years growing into the role of a volunteer.  Cr Baird queried what was the percentage of rural people attending the festival.  Ms Hayes responded approximately 20%, however they could not track online ticket sales.  She also noted that some families came for two to three days of the festival and stayed in Invercargill for the duration.



Moved Cr Ford, seconded Cr Dillon and resolved that the Policy Review Committee:

a)         Receives the report titled “2015 ILT Kidzone Festival Report” dated 17 August 2015.




Southland Tourism Trade Product Opportunities

Record No:         R/15/8/14315


Mr Casson introduced Hannah White to the Policy Review Committee.  Mrs White spoke to the report noting it followed on from the 9 July presentation from Tourism New Zealand.  The report sets out what was happening in tourism, and in particular Southland, with its key characteristics and challenges.  It describes the importance of having unique selling points and the need for a regional approach in regards to maximising the opportunities of tourism.


Mrs White commented that Southland’s tourism is in its infancy and will be subject to a few teething problems.  A main issue was the lack of tourism product to offer visitors to the region.  Mrs White noted there is approximately 130 mostly free visitor products with only 16 of those being a commercial enterprise.  There needs to be a range of products to bring tourist visitors to Southland.  She highlighted point 20 of the report that gave ideas of products that could be developed as commercial products.


Mrs Brown commented there is an 6% growth in tourism predicated for Southland over the next year, so the need to look at commissionable product was pressing,  Venture Southland staff are looking at the opportunities.  Mrs Brown noted the Cruise Strategy will fit into the Southland Visitors Strategy creating a framework with a collaborative approach.  Mr Casson said the region needed to develop its natural strengths that visitors want and will pay for. 




Moved Cr Baird, seconded Cr Dillon and resolved that the Policy Review Committee:

a)         Receives the report titled “Southland Tourism Trade Product Opportunities” dated 13 August 2015. 




Southland Registration of Interest to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment - Ultra Fast Broadband 2, Rural Broadband Initiative 2 and Mobile Blackspot Fund

Record No:         R/15/8/13374


Mr Canny spoke to the report noting Venture Southland prepared and submitted on 10 July 2015 a response to the Government’s Request for Proposal for the Rural Broadband (RBI) 2, Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) 2 and Mobile Blackspot Fund (MBSF).  The report provided an overview of the state of internet and mobile telecommunications revealed through the consultation process and the two bids submitted.




Mr Canny noted some of the key findings from the Southland Internet and Mobile Survey were 47% of rural and 39% of urban respondents reported they or their family regularly experienced problems with their mobile coverage which impacts on their lives.  48% of people in rural areas can use their mobile phone in their home, compared to 73% of people in urban areas. 


He also commented on the two bids, one was ‘The Compliant Bid’ which focused on a commitment to improving services in Southland and the development of new fibre optic cable services, wireless broadband and additional mobile services within a central government led framework and process.  The second was ‘The Alternative Bid’ focused on a regionally led deployment of services focused on a strategic investment in the enduring elements of the broadband and mobile infrastructure.  It promotes the continual deployment of region-wide fibre optic cable; to replace the ageing copper network and investment in hilltop towers; both of which are 50 year pieces of infrastructure. 


Cr Ford asked what efforts were being made in Stewart Island.  Mr Canny responded there is discussion with Chorus on services to Stewart Island being part of the core network improvement.  A key issue was service coverage.  There is a local working group vetting service provision.  He noted Stewart Island is a classic example where there is cover but no DMR to back wall.


Cr Duffy joined the meeting at 11.28am.




Moved Cr Dillon, seconded Cr Ford and resolved that the Policy Review Committee:

a)         Receives the report titled “Southland Registration of Interest to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment -  Ultra Fast Broadband 2, Rural Broadband Initiative 2 and Mobile Blackspot Fund” dated 19 August 2015.



The meeting closed at 11.30am.       CONFIRMED AS A TRUE AND CORRECT RECORD AT A MEETING OF THE Policy Review Committee HELD ON











Policy Review Committee

7 October 2015

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Venture Southland Community Development Update

Record No:        R/15/9/16900

Author:                 Tina Harvey, Community Development Team Leader

Approved by:       Rex Capil, Group Manager, Policy and Community


  Decision                             Recommendation                        Information





1        The purpose of this report is to update the Southland District Council on Venture Southland community development activities.  The accompanying power point presentation provides information about both regional projects and local initiatives.



That the Policy Review Committee:

a)         Receives the report titled “Venture Southland Community Development Update ” dated 21 September 2015.



a         Venture Southland Community Development Update View    


Policy Review Committee

07 October 2015






Policy Review Committee

7 October 2015

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Venture Southland Projects and Activities Report - July/August 2015

Record No:        R/15/9/16968

Author:                 Hunter Andrews, Communications Manager Venture Southland

Approved by:       Rex Capil, Group Manager, Policy and Community


  Decision                             Recommendation                        Information





1        The purpose of this report is to update the Southland District Council on Venture Southland projects and activities for July and August 2015.  The accompanying document provides highlights and a full report.



That the Policy Review Committee:

a)         Receives the report titled “Venture Southland Projects and Activities Report - July/August 2015” dated 21 September 2015.




a         Venture Southland Projects and Activities Report July/August 2015 View    


Policy Review Committee

07 October 2015








Performance Targets Exceeded 2014-15

Venture Southland has recently undertaken an overview of performance for 2014-2015 as requested by stakeholders.  It is extremely pleasing to note that performance targets have been not only achieved, but significantly exceeded in many cases. Targets relate to the number of regional and local initiatives and strategies facilitated and implemented, as well as community and business engagement and advocacy, events, tourism and workshops. What has also been evident is the increasing number of projects which require cross team interaction and collaboration.


Lonely Planet Accolade for Southern Tourism

Lonely Planet released their first definitive wish-list of the 500 most thrilling memorable and interesting places in the world – Fiordland National Park secured 17th position and Stewart Island/Rakiura is placed at a very respectable 125th place.

Significant Funding Applications

Two significant funding applications were recently prepared and submitted. Around the Mountains Cycle Trail – Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund (requested $300,000) and Curio Bay Natural Heritage Centre – Lottery WW1 Environment and Heritage (requested $900,000).


Around the Mountains Cycle Trail

Cross team approach to maximise the potential of this project.  The Official Partner Programme was initiated with personal visits to prospective accommodation, hospitality and activity operators throughout Northern Southland. The over whelming response was positive about the development and partnership programme, and the social and economic impact of the trail was apparent with the investments being made around the region.


Joseph Parker Fight Event

Successful event held 1 August in Invercargill in terms of economic impact, feedback from many of the 3,264 attendees and positive exposure for the region. The broadcast and scheduled release of the “Shine like Stars” video content was rolled out from beginning of August, resulting in exposure to date of over 260,000 views online (based on analytics) and 300,000 on TV.


Southland Digital Strategy

Completed and to MBIE 18 September – Provision of the strategy allows Southland to participate in the Urban Fibre Mobile Broadband Initiative, submitted 9 July to MBIE. As a result these areas have been included on the Urban Fibre Long List: Otatara, Bluff, Winton, Te Anau and Riverton West.


Aeromag Survey

$343k of the $686k target local share for the Aeromag Survey Extension has been committed and Environment Southland will finalise its commitment at its meeting on the 1st of October if this commitment is made then work will commence on the Southland Survey this summer 2015/16



Silica samples are currently being fired in Norway and the comprehensive prefeasibility will then be completed.





9 Sites Identified as potential Aquaculture water space, 4 sites have been identified as worthy of further investigation.


Electricity Transmission Pricing Methodology

Prepared by VS on behalf of Southland Stakeholders Southern NZ businesses are paying $64million more each year since 2004 towards the upper North Island grid development.


Awarua Space Station

2 new Ground stations have recently been commissioned and 4  new proposals have been prepared for consideration by International Clients. The Winton Ground Station planning is now well advanced.


Youth Futures

July the Employer excellence program was launched Invest in Youth Program was also launched and foundation business are being signed into the program.


Lean programme

7 companies PowerNet, Yunca, Awarua Synergies, Windsor Brass, Beatties Auto Repairs, BJ Carters, Lochiel Trailers – Last Presentations September week 3, 20 Companies expressing interest for next year’s program, All previous participants program checks completed.


Lean Dairy

20 Farms, (total to date 34 Farms), Dairy NZ now has an interest in the program.



Dairy Methane Project, Wood Energy Southland Project 7 Feasibility studies underway.


CHCH Rebuild 

Research underway on the benefits of the Canterbury South program.


Revenue Attraction

Year to date Venture Southland has secured an additional 6.5 million revenue into the region on top of ratepayers contribution.







Media Results


Southland stories from famils (familiarisation) facilitated by Venture Southland have featured in number of national and international magazines, newspapers, international websites and television shows.

·    National Geographic (David Whitley) – Stewart Island: Meet the Natives – June 2015

·    NZ Herald (Sarah Marshall) – Cruising: Due South – July 2015

·    TV One – Hokonui Fashion Awards – July 2015

·    This Town – Seriously Good Chocolate Shop & Invercargill, Gore & Heartland Hotels – July 2015

·    NZ Herald (Winston Aldworth) – Of Character & Cobwebs: Stewart Island – August 2015

·    Canada Free Press (Paul Holman) – NZ’s Must Eat Seafood – August 2015

· – Southern Sojourn – August 2015

·    Commercial Horticulture Magazine – Sub-Antarctic Island – August 2015

·    The Breeze Radio – Interview with Jo Learmonth – Stewart Island Top 3 Must Do’s – August 2015

·    Outdoors with Geoff – Welcome Rock Trails & Northern Southland – August 2015

·    KiaOra Magazine (Patrick Kinsella) – Great Walks – August 2015

·    Stuff (Elisabeth Esther) – Kiaora Tuatapere – August 2015

·    Stuff (TNZ) – Searching for Kiwis – August 2015

·    Kiwi Living – Hokonui Fashion Awards – August 2015

·    Stuff (TNZ) – 5 things to do on Stewart Island – August 2015

·    Minneapolis Star Tribune/ABC News/NZ Herald/Port Huron Times (Carey Williams) – Hiking the great walks of NZ’s Rugged South Island – July & August 2015


Media Familiarisation


Below is a list of the areas that were explored along with the journalist’s name and publications they are associated with.


·    Tourism NZ – International Media Programme Famil (The Catlins)

·    Images Magazine – Sheryl Binnie and Lex Buckley (Hokonui Fashion Awards)

·    Social Media Indfluencers -  Jasoncharleshill & helloemilie (Southern Scenic Route, Western Southland, The Catlins & Stewart Island)

·    Social Media Influencer – Johan Lolos (The Catlins)


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Trade Shows, Famils & Promotion


The utilisation of trade channels such as inbound operators (IBOs) is a recognised format for driving sales to commissionable products (businesses that charge and offer commission to distribution channels) and building brand recognition in an affordable manner. Trade activities for the period include:

·    TEC Famil – Stewart Island, Invercargill, Bluff & the Catlins famil

·    TEC Conference Dunedin

·    Preparation for Tourism New Allstars famil and Lower South Island i-SITE famil


TIANZ Regional Tourism Summit 7th August

On 7 August Venture Southland hosted the TIANZ Regional Summit at Ascot Park Hotel with 30 local operators. Key elements of this included a presentation of national and local tourism strategy and performance, a focus workshop on the issues within the local sector, presentation from the Statistics NZ, the Ministry of Tourism, and Service IQ. This workshop initiated investigation by MBIE into the role of the Tourism Growth Partnerships Fund and Tourism Insights specific to the Southland region.


Around the Mountains Official Partner Programme

Working alongside the Community Development team the around the Mountains Cycle Trail Official Partner Programme was initiated with personal visits to prospective accommodation, hospitality and activity operators throughout Northern Southland. The over whelming response was positive about the development and partnership programme, and the social and economic impact of the trail was apparent with the investments being made around the region.


Southern Scenic Route Steering Committee

The SSR Committee met in August and a variety of topics were on the agenda including the financial report, SSR brochure review and distribution as well as future marketing opportunities. The committee is working on getting SSR content out to the consumer market place through partnerships with THL and Driveaway Holidays. We are also through updating the brochure for the next print run in early 2016.


New Media – Promotional content

The broadcast and scheduled release of the Shine like Stars video content was rolled out from beginning of August, resulting in exposure to date of over 260,000 views online (based on analytics) and 300,000 on tv (estimated international viewership of Joseph Parker fight based on previous pay-per-view activity in NZ.

The 2016 brochure is being revamped to ensure that breadth of attractions across the region is being featured with release date of mid-December. Based on industry and consumer feedback the focus is ensuring it is first and foremost a visitor guide, rather than simply an inventory of advertisers (which are also an important function of the guide).


Product Development and Business Advice

The tourism team met and advised a variety of tourism sector operators.

·    Gore (including Gore District Council, Croydon Aviation, Heartland Croydon Hotel, Awatere Cottage, Eastern Southland Gallery, Hokonui Moonshine Museum, Mataura Museum & Raw Gore).

·    Stewart Island (including Stewart Island Promotions Association, Sails Ashore, Port of Call, Ruggedy Range, Ulva Guided Walks, Rakiura Charters, South Seas Hotel)

·    Northern Southland (including Hectors Motorcamp, Kingston Hotel, Fairlight Quarters, Garston Hotel, TrailerSixty6, Castle Hill Lodge, Menlove B&B, Nokomai Station, Lumsden Hotel, Lumsden Motel,


Other Projects

Promotion execution, content gathering and promotion development has been conducted for the following activities:

·    Joseph Parker Fight

·    Westpac Business Excellence Awards

·    GoRental’s rental vehicle promotion

·    Driveaway SSR joint venture

·    Tourist Times content revamp

·    Breakers vs Sydney Kings event




Effectively Engage with Travel Trade

·    Sarah attending Training Day for TNZ Australia Megafamil – 400 agents (8 Sept in Auckland)

·    Attended TEC Conference in Dunedin (17-18 August)

·    Itinerary for the Australia Allstars Mega Famil (9-11 Sept, TNZ)

·    Meeting with IBOs prior to RTONZ meeting in Auckland to do frontline & product manager training

·    Attended Kiwi Link India and Singapore Frontline Training (July 15)

·    Completed follow up for Kiwi Link India & Frontline Training and report sent (attached)

·    Preparing for hosting Tourism Export Council (TEC) Board Meeting in October

·    Thai Famil – Sept, 5 pax (Te Anau Glowworm Caves)

·    Fiordland will be represented in Latin America, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Singapore and the USA in the next 2 months

·    Philippa attending TNZ North American Trade Mission (12-16 October)


Effectively engage with Media

·    Johan Lolos (Instagram) – one journalist for five days (Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Manapouri)

·    Discussions re joint DOC/DF/VS media proposal) (Sept/Oct)

·    Working with the NZTE and the Melbourne Age on a science itinerary

·    Working on a parenting magazine itinerary for family holidays in Te Anau (December)


Domestic Marketing

·    NZ Herald – Kia Ora Te Anau

·    Interestingly the domestic market guest nights to Fiordland for June 2015 were up 22% on June 2014 so the coverage we are getting is obviously helping.




Develop a robust online presence

·    Instagram followers gone from 35 to 326 since hosting Johan Lolos.  Very popular medium for sharing images and DF is now more active with this.

·    Facebook likes = 4677 up from 4580 – one post reached 12500 people!

·    Spike in website visits on the 16th August when the Lonely Planet information was released


Develop & Communicate the DF brand

·    Fantastic coverage following the Lonely Planet accolade

·    Visitor Guide 2016 – now working on listings and layout of inside and proofing

·    Friday radio slot continues

·    Photo Competition has not received the entries we had hoped for.  28th August is the last day for entries and we may cancel it if we don’t have enough for a good exhibition.  Looking into the feasibility of an online competition instead

·    Article in the Advocate continues through 2015


Use local events to promote the region

·    The Stabicraft Yamaha fishing Competition is next on the calendar

·    There is a new endurance event for March 2016

·    See Events section of this report


Effectively engage with, promote and support DF members

·    AGM – 27th August

·    Networking Function 27th August with speaker

·    Visited Queenstown operators

·    Fast Facts is distributed to 412 recipients and has had an average open rate of 40% recently.  I think more people read it in the winter months

·    Emails sent to all members re their membership and advertising requirements.

·    New members are signing up for the next subs year and will be acknowledged once subs are paid later in the year


Develop & Maintain Key Relationships

·    SL IMA meetings

·    Bobbi attended the SOUTH meeting in Christchurch

·    Southern Lakes attending USA Sales Mission

·    Sarah attending SSR meetings

·    Attending RTONZ/TNZ Megameet

·    Attended TEC Conference in Dunedin

·    Attended TIA Summit in Invercargill


Develop & Nurture Relationship with Venture Southland

·    Will be working with VS on Fiordland video

·    Attend Team Leader meetings

·    Working on joint trade and media itineraries

Other DF Activity

·    Photo Competition – 11-13th September (entries close 28th August) – possibility of cancelling due to insufficient entries to date

·    Town Map – Sarah progressing with interested parties, looking to work with MANZ


Recent Media Results

·    National Newspapers and radio with the Lonely Planet accolade

·    Outside Magazine USA – Best small cruise – Doubtful Sound

·    Go Travel – The Jewel of Fiordland Autumn 2015






The Conference and Events team is busy working on projects for the next six months or so.


Angela Newell has been spending time in Christchurch at their Arts Festival looking at shows that would be good for the Southland Festival of the Arts in 2016.  Watch this space as there promises to be some great shows and a few surprises.


Sally Hayes is in the middle of the District Wide Speech Competition with area finals being held at the time of writing.  The grand final is on 16 September at Aurora College. The level of entries is very pleasing as is the number of schools that participated, with 53 schools entering this year’s competition. 


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We have decided to host a KidsCan Santa Run again in December of this year in conjunction with Sport Southland, following on from the success of last year’s run. We will use this as an opportunity to see how well the numbers are this year and also look for opportunities to expand the event, perhaps having a market or fair to follow on.


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After this the team will start work on the Southland District Council holiday programme for January 2016.


Work continues on the Burt Munro Challenge with entries coming in daily and a large number of merchandise orders.  Over 200 posters were sent out this week whilst the planning for the physical events in terms of infrastructure etc. is well in hand.


Work continues on the conference side of the team with a conference pencilled in for November 2016 which will involve approximately 240 delegates.  There are also a large number of one day forums or meetings being booked in the city.


The events team has also been working with a group looking at bringing the World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships to the region in February 2017.  In addition to advice given to the group around funding and sponsorship ideas we have assisted the group in completing an application to the Major Events Development Fund at MBIE.  This is only Stage one of a lengthy process that will take seven months and the first time Venture Southland has been involved in making such an application.  We will continue to work with MBIE and the New Zealand Charitable Foundation Trust who is the applicant for this fund.  The event brings in over 160 competitors from 30 countries and so would be a huge event to be hosted in our region and we expect it to have a huge impact on not only our tourism but also New Zealand as a whole as some competitors would be in the country for anything up to 6 weeks competing.





Performance Targets Exceeded 2014-15


Venture Southland has recently undertaken an overview of performance for 2014-2015 as requested by stakeholders.


The following is a snapshot of the work undertaken by the Community Development Team:

·    Facilitation and implementation of 6 regional initiatives.

·    Several instances whereby staff have advocated on behalf of the community e.g.  financial reporting legislation, charities services, freedom camping bylaw support, submissions to NZTA roading plan etc.

·    Engagement with over 200 community groups and projects.


The Community Development Team have also had significant involvement in projects across the whole organisation and this involves working alongside the Enterprise, Tourism and Events teams on multiple projects and initiatives.  In fact there are very few projects which do not require this overlap and this reflects that the needs of the community are diverse and varied and our approach has to therefore accommodate this.  This is increasingly important that the needs of the community at a local level are reflected at regional and national levels as well and Venture Southland and the cross team approach ensures this.


The team has been successful in securing external funding for regional and local initiatives including the WW1 Commemorations initiatives ($600,000).  Also, the team play a significant role in securing funding for other community projects alongside community groups. 


In summary the Community Development Team are delivering quality outcomes and have again exceeded target expectations, building further on the previous year.



Regional Initiatives and Significant Projects


The team plays a key facilitation role in a number of complex and significant projects and this requires interfacing with a number of stakeholders including the local community.  There are also a number of regional initiatives continually worked on or driven by the team which ensure that the local community is considered in a regional context.


Curio Bay

An application to the Lottery WW1 Commemorations, Environment and Heritage was re-submitted on 2 September.  The initial application was declined in the previous round due to a technicality relating to the partnership funding eligibility criteria.  Through working closing with DOC, MP Sarah Dowie, Deputy Mayor Duffy and the Lottery Committee Advisor, this issue has now been addressed and the project is deemed as ‘eligible’.  The outcome of the application will be known in early December.  Venture Southland will soon facilitate a Governance Board meeting of all stakeholders (local community trust, SDC, DOC, Iwi). This is particularly important as the project moves to implementation in early 2017.


Around the Mountains Cycle Trail

Venture Southland staff are continuing to work alongside SDC on a range of initiatives associated with this significant project.


A funding application of close to $300,000 was prepared and submitted to the NZ Cycle Trail’s “Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund” at the end of August.  Administered through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the focus of the fund is to refine, improve and maintain completed sections of the Great Rides. This fund required equal co funding to be confirmed for what was applied for and primarily only covered Stage 1 of this cycle trail (as it was completed).


Staff from Community Development and Tourism teams have been working together to sign up operators in the Northern Southland area to be members of the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail Official Partner Programme. Staff spent a week meeting and visiting 29 operators (along with Around the Mountains Cycle Trail Ltd) and found that there was a range of support and services that Venture Southland provided that were of use to them (e.g. business planning and budgeting support, business mentoring, education about marketing tools/use of social media for promoting their business etc).


Ministerial Visit

On 21ST August, the community team assisted the Department of Conservation to host the Southland Conservation Board, MP Sarah Dowie and Associate Minister for Conservation Nicky Wagner for a tour of the Catlins and Curio Bay.  Associate Minister Wagner was impressed with collaborative approach in Southland with parties often working alongside each other to achieve community and environmental outcomes.  This has been particularly important for the Curio Bay project with the community, iwi, DOC and Council sharing a common vision and Venture Southland playing a key role of facilitation.  She could also see the challenges this area faces with significantly increasing numbers of visitors and a level of infrastructure not meeting demand.  The economic opportunities as well as environmental enhancements and protection the project presents were also evident.


Southland Funders Network

Venture Southland staff recently hosted a meeting with major community funding stakeholders in Southland.  Representatives from Community Trust of Southland, Invercargill Licensing Trust Foundation, Department of Internal Affairs and Lottery Grants Board, Ministry of Social Development and Te Puni Kokiri attended this meeting. The focus of the meeting was to update attendees on the current funding environment and changes to funding policies and criteria etc. 


Overall the goal is to work together as a region to look at the current community funding environment (local, regional and national); to identify key challenges and discuss how this group can work together (as well as individually) to address them to ensure our region and communities benefit .  It is intended that this group will meet on a bi-monthly basis.



Local Initiatives


As previously detailed, the team works alongside over 200 community groups and initiatives over the year, providing a range of services.  Updates on four projects are provided below.


Proposed Edendale Community Centre

Plans for the proposed redevelopment of the Edendale Rugby Club have been completed and priced. There is still a significant gap between funds secured and total project cost, therefore these plans are now being reviewed to see where savings can be made.  Once the final plans are confirmed, and a funding plan has been set, then the next stage is to go back to the community with the proposal.  Venture Southland facilitates all aspects of this project on behalf of the community groups involved and Southland District Council.


Taramea Bay Soundshell

The Riverton Aparima Community Board requested Venture Southland staff to undertake a survey of Riverton ratepayers in order to gain an understanding of ratepayer opinion around the future of the Taramea Bay Soundshell. 

·    1700 surveys were sent out to Riverton ratepayers.

·    501 responses were received (29% response rate)


A full report is currently being prepared to be presented to the Riverton Aparima Community Board in early October.  The Community Development Planner will work alongside the Property Manager at SDC to develop options forward for the Community Board to consider based on the findings of the surveys.  These will be reflected in this report. 


Thornbury Vintage Machinery Club

Community Development staff are working alongside the Thornbury Vintage Machinery Club with the planning and development of their proposed new display “The History of Farming in Southland”.  Staff provide support to develop their overall funding plan, to prepare and submit funding applications and general project management support and advice for the group.


Tuatapere Pool Redevelopment

Work is due to begin on the redevelopment of the Tuatapere Pool.  Venture Southland staff have been working extensively alongside the pool committee in various capacities from overall project planning and facilitation through to funding and consents. 





Wood Energy South


The project team wish to welcome Owen West onto the Steering Group to replace Martin Walton. Owen is an Air Quality Scientist at Environment Southland and both the project and Environment Southland will benefit from having him directly involved as stage two of the air plan goes under review. Mr Grant Smith representing the Bioenergy association of New Zealand has been appointed as the Steering Group chairman.


The studies of the Current and Projected Timber Resource in Southland and Coastal Otago are both completed and have been peer reviewed and distributed to project stakeholders. These studies are publically available on the Wood Energy South website. This work plays a significant role in creating confidence in the supply of wood resource in the region and is fundamental to heat plant owners considering switching.


The National Specifier and Consultants practice paper has been completed and Wood Energy South is started initial conversations with IPENZ and is working on a proposal to get the paper to be adopted as an IPENZ practice paper. The practice paper has been embraced by plant owners and consultants and has been actively used for feasibility study work.


To date, one feasibility study has been funded by the project and a number of feasibility studies and capital grant applications are in the pipeline.  Two schools (Takatimu and Waihopai) have recently been commissioned and two more are nearing commissioning.


Methane Recovery

As the first of the methane recovery systems reaches commissioning, Venture Southland is developing a monitoring plan and funding proposal with NIWA, EECA and DairyNZ to support the concept of making this a reliable and streamlined process. Venture Southland is currently seeking proposals for an integrated plan and typical design for a methane recovery system. This programme builds on the other programmes that Venture Southland has undertaken or is currently developing including the 2007 Energy Efficient Dairy Shed, 2011 Southland Energy Strategy, 2012 Waste to Energy Report, focus of the Southland Energy Forum and Dairy Lean programme.

This work will review the installation, design, methodology and technology integration to provide a framework for the development of a repeatable process and will be completed by the end of September 2015.


Awarua Satellite Ground Station


A new Awarua Ground Station was commissioned in August for the Seattle-based satellite launch aggregator, SpaceFlight. Venture Southland engineers have started preparing a new site in Central Southland for another satellite operator to be operational in December. It is necessary to site their station at least 25km from Awarua to avoid their operations interfering with the existing Awarua operations.


Preliminary work for the establishment of a downrange station at Awarua for a launch operator has been completed. Further work is waiting for final contractual matters to be concluded. A further satellite operator has also shortlisted Awarua for the establishment of a further ground station.


Venture Southland has been struggling to negotiate a fair market cost of providing fibre optic connection for both sites and the matter is being elevated to senior decision makers to expedite a satisfactory outcome.


All infrastructure development work is funded by the commercial partners.


Stewart Island Renewable Energy Investigation


The hydro and wind monitoring stations are operational and providing good data. Following extensive wind damage to the solar monitoring site replacement panels are being sought, inverter repairs have been completed and solar data recovered. Reinstatement of the monitoring site will be expedited in the coming weeks.


Aerial Magnetic Survey of Southland

Progress on the Southland Aeromagnetic survey has received a further boost with the confirmation of funding up to $108,731 from the Southland District Council on 5 August 2015; the project will be funded over two financial years. Commitment to the project is now strong; the Gore District Council and the Invercargill City Council have already confirmed their contributions of $44,247 and $190,022 respectively. MBIE has advised that the Aeromagnetic Survey tender has attracted significant interest and the proposals received are robust and technically sound. The tender results will be known late September – early October 2015.


Environment Southland appears to be very supporting of the project and while it has not yet made a decision in regards to the funding, ES will be reviewing the project at their next Council meeting on 30th of September.


Further extensions to the project have been investigated and prices have been prepared for consideration by the Southland District Council and large scale farming interests.


Southland Digital Strategy Review – Regional Broadband and Mobile Phone Coverage


Venture Southland on behalf of ICC, SDC and GDC has surveyed Southland residents and businesses to gather vital information associated with the performance of broadband services and mobile network coverage in the region. The survey received 720 responses.

Key findings from the survey highlight that there are significant disparities between urban and rural service levels, and that existing services are struggling to meet the requirements of businesses and residents. The survey has informed formal Registrations of Interest to the MBIE and the associated Digital Enablement Strategy which in turn forms part of the review of the Southland Digital Strategy. 


Venture Southland will coordinate a response to the Government’s Registration of Interest for the second stage of Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB2), the second stage of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI2) and Mobile Black Spot coverage was completed and submitted to MBIE on 9 July 2015.


The Draft Southland Digital Strategy 2015 will be submitted to MBIE on the 16th of July and formal adoption of the Strategy by local Councils will occur over the following 6 weeks.

Electricity Authority- Electricity Pricing Methodology


Venture Southland has been working with Electricity Authority since early June, in response to the Transmission Pricing Methodology (TPM) review.


Venture invited the Commission representatives to come to Southland and meet and discuss the Electricity Authority’s Transmission charge review process and objectives. A subsequent workshop was held in Invercargill on Friday, 3 July 2015 to explain in detail the implications of the Proposed Transmission Pricing Methodology Review. A further workshop was held on 9 July which was aimed at understanding the financial implications of the various transmission pricing scenarios. Southland stakeholder representative will be meeting on 27 July to formulate a regional response to the submission process. 


On 27 July, Southland stakeholders including the Southland Chamber of Commerce and other local stakeholders have met to evaluate the proposal and to formulate a regional response to the submission process.


One of the key findings of the assessment of the TPM is that Otago/Southland business and residential consumers are being overcharged by $64 million per annum under the terms of the current operative Transmission Pricing Methodology, which would be remedied under the recommended scenario known as ‘Application A’


Businesses in the Southland region have been strongly encouraged to make a submission on the topic. Submissions closed on 11 August 2015.


The Electricity Authority received 99 submissions:

36 supported ‘Application A’ (Southland Preference)

34 supported the Status quo

14 supported various alternatives

5 were not articulated


The Geographical spread of the Submissions is as follows:

22 Upper North Island

8 Lower North Island

13 Upper South Island

27 Lower South Island

9 National

10 Not articulated


Regional Research Institutes

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is leading an initiative announced as part of Budget 2015 which will investigate the feasibility of establishing Regional Research Institutes around New Zealand.


The proposed new research institutes would support innovation in regional areas outside of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch by maximising the unique business, technology, and economic growth opportunities in the regions. The Government has allocated $25 million to help these new privately led Institutes get started. The funding is for a period of three years and one and three new institutes may be launched.


The Regional Research Institutes will focus on scientific research relevant to a particular region as well as enabling export of research products and services outside the region. The model of the proposed Research Institutes is different to, but it incorporates the best aspects of Universities, Crown Research Institutes and private industry organisations. Institutes will be expected to work in collaboration with existing research institutes and organisations in New Zealand and overseas.


A range of ownership structures are acceptable, however the following criteria applies to building a strong business case:

·    eligible regions for hosting an institute are only those outside the main population centres of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch

·    new institutes must be established and maintained as private or private not-for-profit organisations with their own independent governance arrangements

·    new institutes must bring relevant research in support of industry-led efforts to increase R&D intensity

·    new institutes should congregate and develop their own ‘in-house’ expertise, but are also expected to facilitate and integrate researchers from other NZ institutions, or from overseas, into their mix of activity

·    new institutes are expected to bring new research activity into the regions and which should be additional in the New Zealand context, i.e., not replicating or transferring existing programmes

·    proposals for establishing a new institute(s) must make a clear business case that demonstrates on-going financial sustainability beyond initial government support.


Venture Southland co-hosted a Regional Research Institute workshop for the Southland region with MBIE on Tuesday 8 September, at Venture Southland. A total of 25 stakeholders were involved in the workshop, from sectors such as dairy, telecommunications, education, manufacturing etc.


The workshop highlighted the structures and intent of the Region Research Institutes and provided information to allow further local discussion about the opportunities. Venture Southland will coordinate a further regional stakeholder meeting to find a pathway for a regional initiative.


Business Training - Regional Business Partners & Business Mentors


Regional Business Partner Programme

The 2014/15 contract period has ended with Venture Southland providing access to training grants, via NZTE, of over $200,000 and R&D support, via Callaghan Innovation, of over $140,000. Venture Southland was able to work with NZTE to access an additional $40,000 of training funding to meet local demand.


Venture Southland is working closely with NZTE to ensure effective delivery over the next six months, with a number of new programmes being delivered in the region, including NZTE’s “How to tender and WIN work” programme.


Venture Southland completed the tender for the renewal of the Regional Business Partner Programme in Southland. We received a significant level of support from around the region. The successful delivery agency will be known by the end of October. 


Business Mentors New Zealand

The Business Mentors Programme has recently launched a Community Mentors Programme. This programme has been trialled in Taranaki and Auckland and is now in the process of being rolled out around the country. This programme mirrors the Business Mentors NZ programme into the community sector. The Business Support team will work closely with the Community Development team to ensure successful local delivery.



Southland Dairy Lean


Southland Dairy Lean programme has been formally recognised and endorsed. It will be progressively rolled out throughout New Zealand and will be rebranded as the Dairy Lift Programme.


On-farm sessions concluded at the end of July and farms are currently in the process of roll-out across their operations.


DairyNZ have funded this extension programme to develop the required resources to enable Dairy Lift to be delivered around the country. Planning sessions have been held with DairyNZ about the future delivery mechanism for the programme and challenges associated with wider roll-out. The potential national delivery model will be established at the conclusion of the Southland Pilot programme, following an assessment of impact on-farm of the programme.


Feedback from the participants in the programme has been very positive, with a particular focus on staff engagement.


Lean Manufacturing


2015 Lean Cluster

The 2015 Lean Manufacturing Programme participants (Yunca, PowerNet, Lochiel Trailers, Awarua Synergy, BJ Carters, Windsor Brass and Beatties Auto) are coming to the end of the formal training programme. Final presentations and site visits will be made in the 2nd week of September. The participants will then continue to deliver their 2 year roll-out plan across their organisations. Venture Southland will continue to provide support as the businesses do this, by providing site-visits and forums to allow learning from previous participant companies.  As well as improved productivity, one of the outcomes of the Lean programme is the establishment of a platform for the implementation and ongoing delivery of comprehensive health and safety programmes.


Regional Labour Market Strategy 2015-2031


‘Welcome to Southland” newcomers information guides are currently being developed. Venture Southland is working with employers, migrants and support agencies to ensure that the proposed guidelines meet the requirements.


Work is also being done to develop updated recruitment and attraction documentation. Venture Southland will also work with employers and recruiting agencies to ensure that these resources are targeted to current needs. Any hard-copy material developed will link closely with web developments.


Southland Youth Futures – ‘Invest in Youth’


The Employers Excellence Workshop, held on July 28, launched the ‘Invest in Youth’ initiative. Thirty businesses attended and significant commitment was made by those businesses to participate in programmes aimed at assisting them to attract and retain young people. 


The workshop challenged employers to be more proactive in both ‘selling’ the opportunities they have available, and examining the options for improving their employment practice, particularly in the area of working hours and rosters.


Key speaker Mayor Bryan Cadogan spoke about the Clutha District’s ‘Ready Steady to Work’ programme, and emphasised the need for businesses and communities to invest in young people. Richardson Group Human Development Manager John McDonald also spoke about the initiatives he uses to invest in young people and promote careers pathways into transport.


HR specialist Denise Hartley-Wilkins presented research on Generation Z entitled ‘Employers are from Mars, Young people are from Venus’ which highlighted youth friendly practices employers could use when recruiting and retaining young people on their staff.


Following on from the Employers Excellence workshop, businesses met to agree on standards to establish a youth friendly business network available to offer work experience opportunities, participate in career events, engage with students and mentor young people in Southland.


Silica Gravel Testing


Venture Southland is the process of updating the Southland Silica Assessment work. The work involves the preparation of a Prefeasibility Study for the establishment of a silica plant for the production of polysilica used in the manufacture of solar panels and electronics grade silicon. This project is focusing on process technology, market trends, infrastructure, electricity demands and the consent related matters, economic impacts and financial viability.  Phase one of this project has been completed and expert input is being sought to finalise the business case elements of the feasibility work.


This work builds on the mineral assessment work undertaken in 2012 and is expected to be completed in December 2015.


Currently mineral samples are being analysed and being subjected to thermal conductivity furnace testing, which will be completed in early October. This testing will determine the suitability of Southland’s high purity silicon for further refinement and will provide greater certainty surrounding the smelting technologies most suited to refining the Southland quartz gravels.


Milford Future Options


Venture Southland has completed a project framework for evaluating long-term options for the future of Milford Sound. This has been undertaken in conjunction with the Southland District Council and in consultation with the Department of Conservation.


The initial work is now subject to stakeholder consultation and the Southland Distric Council will now lead the project.