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NZ's Southland looks to draw more tourists

AAP logoAAP 30/11/2016

Tourism, aquaculture and primary industries in Southland are set to get a boost as part of the New Zealand government's plan to diversify the local economy.

Population growth in the region is significantly slower than the rest of New Zealand and the local economy currently relies on a limited number of industries, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said.

In an action plan the region has set out goals to grow the population by 10,000 over the next eight years and to strengthen local businesses.

Tourism and international education have been identified as ways to grow the region, underpinned by training or attracting skilled workers, improving water management, digital connectivity and transport infrastructure, Mr Joyce says .

The plan includes spending $NZ950,000 ($A904,417) to support the aquaculture industry.

"Southland's climate and ocean conditions lend themselves to sustainable and efficient production of high quality seafood," he said.

"There is a great opportunity here to build an international competitive industry that will create a range of skilled, non-seasonal jobs for the region."

A further $NZ510,000 for tourism also includes leveraging off region's reputation for seafood.

That fund includes $NZ80,000 for a feasibility study on Bluff Oyster World, an attraction based around the local delicacy.

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