With the housing shortage a current concern for both national and local government, the Southland Housing Action Forum is set to play an essential role in identifying solutions for Southland.

The Southland Housing Action Forum was established in July 2018 to evaluate the current state of housing in the region, and determine if Southland has the right amount, and type, of housing to meet current and future needs.

The forum is made up of like-minded community organisations and industry representatives who are committed to ensuring Southland's concerns are heard at a national level.

Venture Southland’s involvement in the Forum has included coordinating an assessment of Southland housing needs that focused on the social, real estate and business sectors, and built upon the Southland Community Housing Strategy, commissioned by Invercargill City Council in 2017.

As part of the assessment Venture Southland coordinated a survey that received feedback from 180 organisations on the changes they have observed in the rental and housing markets in Southland over the last 12 months, where the shortages are and what factors drive demand for housing.

As a result of the survey and the situation analysis carried out, the assessment has predicted that a total of 2,844 houses are needed in the next year, and almost 500 houses per year for at least 5 years, to serve the expected population growth.

Find out more information on the assessment results here 


Next steps

The results of the assessment were able to be shared with Housing Minister Phil Twyford and other ministry representatives when a Southland delegation travelled to Wellington to discuss how Southland could work with the Government to find an integrated solution to the housing shortage.

As a result of the meeting, representatives from Housing NZ and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, will be visiting Southland to discuss options to accelerate new build options.

This is a regionally collaborative initiative and Venture Southland is looking forward to working alongside other members of the forum to continue advocating for improved housing across the Southland region.

The Southland Housing Action Forum is made up of the following: 
  • Shaun Drylie – SBS Bank/Southland Chamber of Commerce (Chair)
  • Dr Liz Craig Labour List MP based in Invercargill
  • Mayor Gary Tong – Southland District Council
  • Mayor Tracy Hicks – Gore District Council
  • Becs Amundsen – Invercargill City Council
  • Mark Patterson – NZ First MP
  • Sarah Dowie – Invercargill MP
  • Steve Canny – Venture Southland
  • Sumaria Beaton – Awarua Synergy
  • Angela Blair – Ngai Tahu
  • Chris Ramsay Invercargill Licensing Trust
  • Jackie Flutey – Community Trust South
  • Richard Gray – Fonterra/Chamber of Commerce
  • Sheree Carey – Chamber of Commerce
  • Penny Simmonds – Southern Institute of Technology
  • Lindsay Thomas – Invercargill City Council / HWCP
  • Margaret Cook – South Alive
  • Paul Searancke – Habitat for Humanity
  • Alison Broad – SCHG
  • Carl Hamilton – Master Builders Rep Gore
  • Brent Hansen – Master Builders Rep Invercargill
  • Tony Mennell – T&T Property
  • Steve McGregor – True South Surveyors
  • Roger Beattie – Beattie McDowell Architects