Southland is known for its strong and vibrant communities which contribute to a quality of life not found elsewhere.

Venture Southland, by way of its funding agreement with Southland District Council (SDC) is proud to play a part in supporting local communities to maintain this proud Southland community spirit.

The community development team works in an integrated way with other teams at Venture Southland as part of unique model which helps ensure community involvement and leadership is strengthened.

Southland has strong and vibrant communities, however the rural populations in particular face challenges including maintaining services and volunteers in a large geographic area with dispersed populations. Venture Southland continues to work alongside council to address these challenges, with many of the work priorities of the organisation based around these.

Community planning relies on a relationship approach of working alongside local people and groups (at their pace and where they live) and secondly partnering with Councils, community funders and other stakeholders on a range of projects and initiatives. The projects are many and varied. These activities support the outcomes of making rural Southland a desirable place to live, grow up, run a business, raise a family and enjoy a safe and satisfying life.

The work programme undertaken by Venture Southland reflects this approach and can be split into three main areas; building community capacity and capability, local community initiatives and community funding.

Venture Southland has a community development planner allocated to each area within the Southland district.

Community Planning Team

Amy Bird - Venture Southland

Amy Bird

Community Development Team Leader

Amy looks after the Community Development team and is responsible for the Oban - Stewart Island / Rakiura community.

Tina Harvey - Venture Southland

Tina Harvey

Community Development Planner

Tina works part-time, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 8.45am – 5.00pm. Tina is responsible for the following towns and communities: Edendale, Wyndham, Woodlands, Rimu, The Catlins, Tokanui, Fortrose, Gorge Road, Mokotua and Kapuka.

Kathryn Cowie - Venture Southland

Kathryn Cowie

Community Development Planner

Kathyn works part-time, Monday, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 9.00am – 2.00pm. Kathyn is responsible for the following towns and communities: Riverton, Colac Bay, Orepuki, Thornbury, Otautau, Nightcaps, Ohai and Wallacetown. 

Megan Nunns - Venture Southland

Megan Nunns

Community Development Planner

Megan is responsible for the following towns and communities: Te Anau, Manapouri, Tuatapere, The Key, Clifden, Monowai, Blackmount and Hauroko.

Suzanne MacKenzie - Venture Southland

Suzanne MacKenzie

Projects and Administration Assistant
For further information contact
Amy Bird - Venture Southland

Amy Bird

Community Development Team Leader