Council initiatives

Southland District Council initiated a number of activities to prepare Council and the district to respond to the climate crisis effectively. Council will lead by example and will integrate climate change mitigation (emissions reduction) and climate change adaptation (building resilience) into our Long-Term Plan (LTP), Infrastructure Strategy, and Activity Management Plans to make sure our actions are climate change responsive.

Our fleet

Council is in the process of decarbonising our fleet and already included a fully electric car and 03 hybrid SUVs to Council’s fleet. The nature and length of our road network and insufficient EV infrastructure in the district have limited our ability to convert the total fleet into electric, but we are exploring ways to include more hybrid vehicles when the fleet is upgraded in the future. This will also enable us to reduce our transport related emissions without compromising the ability to use vehicles during a blackout or an emergency. Our transport team is assessing different scenarios considering Council’s emissions budget, and will make evidence-based recommendations to inform future decisions.

Assessments and data analytics

We are working with our regional development partner, Great South to carry out a number of assessments to inform Council’s next LTP process. These include:

1. organisation-wide emissions assessment of Council and developing an emissions reduction plan

2. develop district risk framework to identify the areas, assets and communities at risk of climate change induced hazards 

3. growth/decline modelling to identify the areas where change is happening and to make informed land-use planning decisions to reduce emissions and improve resilience

4. secondary flow pathways analysis to identify the flood risks of our culverts and bridges

5. housing needs assessment throughout the Southland district covering future demand for residential properties.

These assessments will put us in a better position to integrate emission reductions and climate change adaptation strategies into our plans.

The Long Term Plan (LTP)

In the upcoming LTP cycle, we will also develop a Climate Change Strategy in consultation with our partners and communities to strengthen our actions.

Regional working group on climate change

Southland District Council is a part of the regional climate change working group together with Te Ao Marama Inc., Environment Southland, Gore District Council and Invercargill City Council to have a coordinated effort in regional climate response.

Working with our iwi Partner

We have a long-standing partnership and a close collaboration with Te Ao Marama Inc. on a number of areas, including environmental management, land-use planning, spatial planning and climate change response. Council consults with Te Ao Marama Inc. to obtain advice with matters relating to mana whenua.