The Southland Story
The principle goal of the Southland Regional Development Strategy is to grow the region's population by 10,000 people by 2025. To achieve this we not only need to attract more people, we also need retain those already here.
Central to any attraction and retention initiative is the development of a story that strongly articulates the identity of a ‘place’ and what makes it unique. This needs to be authentic and powerful enough that locals embrace it, as well as having appeal to people considering visiting or moving to a region. This approach has been successfully undertaken with the NZ Story and across the country by regions including Bay of Plenty, Marlborough and Christchurch.
The outcome of this project will be a concise story and supporting messaging articulating what makes Southland a great place to visit and live. This can be used by all of us (companies, communities, councils, and individuals) in combination with our individual stories and brands to help build pride and desire for the region.
It is essential locals contribute to this story. Consequently, two-hour community consultation workshops have been scheduled in Te Anau, Riverton, Winton, Invercargill and Gore over the coming month.
To ensure objectivity, these workshops will be facilitated by place story telling specialists, Principals. This team has worked on successful projects for the New Zealand Story, Taranaki, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.
At these workshops you will be invited to contribute and share ideas about the key elements we should weave into the Southland Story. The outcome will be key themes and ‘draft’ story outlines. You will also be invited to participate in a combined follow-up session in the New Year, where participants from all groups will meet for a presentation of the master Story that will have been developed based on the outcomes from the different workshops.
It is anticipated that the project will be completed by early 2019 and will contribute strongly towards Southland's retention, investment, recruitment, destination promotion and management programmes.