Just Transitions for Southland

The Government has committed to support a just transition for Southland following the announcement that the owners of the New Zealand Aluminium Smelter at Tiwai Point are planning to close it in December 2024.

Through a Just Transition process for Southland the goal is to build the region’s economic, environmental and social resilience through and beyond the smelter’s planned closure.

Current work

MBIE’s Just Transition Partnership team has been working since the start of 2021 to develop relationships with Southlanders, while embarking on an information gathering process.

To oversee this work, an interim project oversight group for Southland’s transition was set up. This group includes representatives from local government, iwi and central government. In time, the representation will expand to include other parts of the Southland community.

The Just Transition Partnership team are now supporting this group by working to gather information on Southland’s current state. This includes meeting with Southland people, running a series of stakeholder workshops and engaging with Ministers. The process welcomes the input of all Southlanders.

Southland’s Just Transition process is starting from a strong base, with existing strategies, such as SORDS or the work of Murihiku Regeneration, providing an excellent platform. The information that the Just Transition Partnership team are gathering will supplement and build on these strategies to support the identification and advancement of a small number of initiatives that will lift the economic, environmental and social resilience of Southland.

The intention is to develop a work programme for Southland’s just transition that will be agreed to by the end of 2021 and made publicly available, to be governed by an enduring project oversight group.