Tā Mātau Haereka, Tō Tātau Rohe | Our Journey, Our Region

Who We Are

Te Kāhui Whakahaere i kā Pūkeka ā-rohe o Murihiku (RSLG) is the southernmost Regional Skills Leadership Group, and incorporates Southland District, Gore District, and Invercargill and Bluff. We work in partnership with the four Papatipu Rūnaka across the region.

The aim of the RSLG is to develop a thriving regional labour market to transform the lives of all people living in Murihiku, both now and in the future.

The RSLG is also seeking to ensure that Māori are enabled to meet their aspirations relating to economic resilience and capability as Tangata Whenua and as citizens.

Our Foundation Aspirations

Our mahi is underpinned by four foundation aspirations:

Aspiration One: Murihiku has strong collaboration across its leadership and community ensuring all labour market planning and investment leads to high quality, equitable impacts for the region.

Aspiration Two: Murihiku has the skills, flexibility, and resilience to meet current and future labour market demands.

Aspiration Three: Te Ao Māori world view is embedded within everything we do, guiding our thinking to promote trust, understanding, empathy and compassion.

Aspiration Four: All employers in the region are considered great places to work. Murihiku is an employee’s region of choice.

Our 2022 Regional Workforce Plan

In July 2022, the RSLG released the inaugural Regional Workforce Plan (RWP) for Murihiku.

At the core of the RWP is regional coordination and problem-solving, to inform investment decisions that help address our labour market issues - whilst harnessing future opportunities in the region.

The 2022 RWP explored one demographic group and four sectors which became our Pou, being:

  • Te Tumu Taiohi | Rakatahi – the future of our region and a taoka that needs to be respected and nurtured, so the full potential of every young person in the region can be unlocked.
  • Te Whatu Rourou | Food and Fibre – the foundation of our regional identity that holds a place of pride for its people.
  • Te Ohu Waihaka | Manufacturing and Engineering – the ‘engine-room’ of Murihiku, from large firms processing the region’s abundance of primary products through to award-winning high-tech manufacturing.
  • Te Tōpuni Oraka | Health Care and Social Assistance – fundamental to the health and wellbeing of the people of Murihiku, and a major consideration in attracting new people to the region as well as retaining the existing population.
  • Te Pou Whakauwhi | Tourism and Hospitality – the ‘show-case’ for Murihiku, key to attracting both visitors and new residents to the region.

Our 2022 Regional Workforce Plan included an Action Plan representing the RSLG’s core focus. We identified a series of priority actions that were core to our future RSLG work programme, and had a short to medium term impact horizon (6-12 months to 1-2 years).

Our early focus was leading the coordination, activation, and monitoring of these actions where appropriate. We recognised that our role in some actions was collaborating with key regional stakeholders and partners to support, and in some cases lead, detailed design and implementation.

In most cases, we have achieved our objectives. Our priority actions have become part of our core mahi, enabling us to refocus the nature and scope of our 2023 actions. This will be an iterative process as our plan evolves.

Find out more about the 2022 Regional Workforce Plan.

2022 Regional Workforce Plan

Our Region Now[1]

Today, Southland Murihiku has a population of approximately 102,400 – 2% of the national population.

For the year ended March 2022, Southland Murihiku’s GDP was $7.3b, approximately 2% of the national economy.

The age distribution in Southland Murihiku shows approximately 63% of residents make up the working age population (15-39 years – 31%; 40-64 years – 32%). 19% of Murihiku’s population are 14 or younger, with 18% being aged 65 or older.

The StatsNZ Household Labour Force Survey (March 2023 Quarter) shows Southland Murihiku’s unemployment and underutilisation rates are low, and participation and employment rates are high:

  • Participation rate: 73.3%
  • Employment rate: 70.9%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.3%
  • Underutilisation rate: 8.6%

The number of filled jobs in Murihiku's total economy averaged 55,624 in the year to March 2022. Employment grew by 1.9%.

Approximately 35.9% of Murihiku's workforce was employed in highly skilled occupations in 2022. This is lower than the national rate (38.4%). Around 39.7% of Murihiku's workforce was employed in low-skilled occupations, higher than the national rate (34.9%).

For the year ended March 2022, our 2022 Pou Sectors had the following employee counts:

  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing: 9,630 employees, 17.3% of economy
  • Manufacturing and Engineering: 8,240 employees, 14.8% of economy
  • Health Care and Social Assistance: 5,450 employees, 9.8% of economy
  • Tourism and Hospitality: 2,850 employees, 5.6% of economy