Southern New Zealand Shopping

It is time to revisit previous plans & the broad range of ideas submitted from various sources and analyse them, to reflect, come up with fresh thoughts/ideas, get inspired. It is time to identify the issues that Invercargill city and greater Southland need to address.

Southland is that it has its own flavour, an interesting and pioneering history, present undercurrent but often undisclosed challenges, opportunities that need to be realised, and attractions which should be seen. We have great potential.

What we have in front of us is an opportunity to canvas the locals on what they would like to do, and to act as a true democracy.

It is important to recognise that the Richardson Group have taken a strong and bold standing to create new attractions in Invercargill City, and have a track history of leadership and service to the district. We need to thank them for presenting visionary, big picture ideas, offering to finance ideas, and for actioning on them. This is admirable, and there is more good to come when we take the right steps forward. We have already heard from some of the experts regarding the ‘The Block’ development, but not really from more than those commissioned by the Richardson Group.


What we need now is an open and transparent process to develop the way forward which truly represents our people, our natural environment and the interests of our communities. Buildings with natural light gleaming in, decks, eateries, cafes, offices, and spaces that can be seen and appreciated from the street. We must consider the impacts of global warming, long term sea level rises, best use of public money, and an democratic, accountable way of progressing. We should spend on what is good for the very common people, and help everybody’s lives, and the environment.

Let’s stop and consider minimalistic designs, prefabricated buildings made of natural materials, and stage by stage development. Even though our city centre has been flattened, current plans are not a forgone conclusion. We do have additional options, which can be imagined and explored.

There is urgency of time, as the city now has fiscal commitments, resource constraints, and large plots of vacant land.

Food markets, concerts, large meetings, cultural events, temporary prefabricated and movable shop fitouts, and a very desirable place to be in the short term are all possible..

Before any plans are made for laying foundations, our geographers and surveyors should get out and spray paint the line for mean high tide in 100 years, and another for likely tsunami level above that. Then we should design for the city hub of the future.

Let’s look at ways to reduce the rates burden. We can embrace private influence, but we must maximise the sense of community and prosperity for all, and minimise ostentatiousness.