The Southland region supports a wide range of manufacturing and processing capability and continues to offer numerous opportunities for investment within the region.

The availability of quality aggregates, timber supplies, affordable land and an effective supply chain combined with a skilled workforce has seen many businesses thrive in Southland.

This includes milk processing, medium density fibreboard (MDF) manufacturing, plywood veneer production, wood chip processing, concrete production and niche car building. In addition to this, Southland has a proven and world class boat building industry.

Design and construction

Southland's strong design and construction industry is demonstrated by the completion of major dairy projects and the successful construction of a world class Velodrome. These projects have been achieved through the excellent professional services available in Southland that include project management, design engineers, architects, surveyors, quantity surveyors, rapid prototyping capability, as well as accounting and legal support.

Industries are supported by Southland's proven engineering and service industry capabilities. Examples of this range from major hydro-electric power projects, smelter development, dairy and meat processing and marine industry engineering. The well developed infrastructure enables continued efficient transport of products to domestic and international markets.

Aluminium smelter

The largest non-agricultural based manufacturing business in Southland is the aluminium smelter operated by New Zealand Aluminium Smelters (NZAS) at Tiwai Point. NZAS produces around 350,000 tonnes of the world's purest aluminium each year with most of the metal product being exported to Japan and other countries in Asia.

NZAS contributes $525 million to the Southland economy (10.5 per cent of Southland's GDP) and $1,600 million in Southland regional sales, with export revenue of around $1 billion each year. Approximately 800 full time equivalent employees and contractors work at the smelter.