Photo by Bruce Fraser


To gain an understanding of the key issues and areas of the region that have underperforming connectivity and coverage and suggest pathways for improvement.

Cellphone tower, Southland Murihiku


  • This workstream is about communication whether it be between people meeting socially or for business or to just make sure people are the safest they can be in their workplaces.

  • Digital connectivity and access to data, drives and enables community and economic development throughout the region. We will look to identify and understand from a spatial perspective, the communities and locations which don’t have good coverage and connectivity and will suggest pathways for improvement.

  • The cool temperatures of Southland Murihiku, access to abundant renewable energy and geographic diversity make it an ideal site as a hub for storing data and running high-performance applications. There are a number of data centre proposals suggested for Southland Murihiku which could help position the region as a data capital of New Zealand Aotearoa. We will seek to understand the opportunities, implications and benefits to the region.

  • Data aggregation and consolidation of key datasets will enable and inform key decision making, including the regional long-term planning process and ongoing measurement and tracking of success. We will assess opportunities for improved consolidation and sharing of data.

Key Outcomes

  1. Priority issues and areas that require improvement for connectivity and coverage are identified from primary research (regarding mobile phone coverage and internet connectivity), and a pathway for future improvements and advocacy is outlined.

  2. Building on the Southland Regional Digital Strategy (2015), ensure accurate insights and data is sourced and collated to support local & central government, mana whenua and the private sector to make informed evidence-based decisions.

  3. Support the establishment of proposed data centres in the region and seek to understand the implications and benefits of new data centres for Southland Murihiku.

Connection with other Workstreams:

The principles of this workstream will strongly underpin the overall Beyond 2025 Southland plan with close alignment to the following workstreams: