Media release

Joint Southland Otago approach to address transport issues

Wednesday 4 February 2015

Southland and Otago residents have until 6 March to make submissions on the newly released Draft Otago Southland Regional Land Transport Plan.

Environment Southland and the Otago Regional Council have joined forces to prepare a single document that looks at the transport challenges facing both regions and the best way to align work programmes for roading.

Environment Southland and Southland Regional Transport Committee chairman Ali Timms said while each council is required to produce its own plan under the Land Transport Management Act 2013, both councils saw the opportunity to be more effective by working together.

“Our collaboration should strengthen the voice that we will have at a national level,” Ms Timms said. “The combined approach aims to increase the chances of individual projects getting off the ground and improve our access to funding.

Having an aligned strategy also means there is an opportunity to work across boundaries and prioritise projects that benefit both regions,” Ms Timms said.

Otago Regional Transport Committee chairman Cr Trevor Kempton (Otago Regional Council) said that projects of significance to both regions will benefit from combined advocacy, whereas in the past plans were focused within each region.

“Work on SH1 in North Otago to provide much needed flood protection along with seal extensions on the southern scenic network in both Otago and Southland will benefit from this approach as will the on-going upgrade of inter-regional routes for transport of primary produce to processing sites and ports,” Cr Kempton said.

Other projects include improvements in the Frankton Flats area of the Wakatipu Basin and an upgrade of the link between penguin viewing sites in the Catlins area.

The plan includes all proposed state highway and council projects for Southland and Otago for the next six years, and is open for public submission until 6 March.

Ms Timms and Mr Kempton said the collaborative planning approach should produce better transport outcomes for the two regions. They were inextricably linked by their roading systems, which were major contributors to the success of both the regional economies.

Copies of the plans are available on the Environment Southland website ( and Otago Regional Council website (

For more information contact

Ali Timms
Chairman Southland Regional Transport Committee
Ph 027 202 5810
Trevor Kempton
Chairman Otago Regional Transport Committee
Ph 027 221 5208

RLTP policy details Southland
Russell Hawkes
Senior Policy Planner - Transport
Environment Southland
Phone – 03 211 5115
Cell – 021 970 997

RLTP policy details Otago Regional Council
Jane Turnbull
Manager Transport Policy and Planning
Ph 03 474 0827