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Southland District facts for kids

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Southland District
Territorial authority
Location of the Southland District within the South Island
Location of the Southland District within the South Island
Country New Zealand
Region Southland Region
  • Ardlussa
  • Fiordland
  • Northern
  • Oraka Aparima
  • Oreti
  • Stewart Island/Rakiura
  • Tuatapere Te Waewae
  • Waihopai Toetoe
  • Wallace Takitimu
  • Mararoa Waimea
  • Stewart Island Rakiura
  • Waiau Aparima
  • Waihopai Toetoes
  • Winton Wallacetown
Formed 1989
Seat Invercargill
 • Land 29,574.53 km2 (11,418.79 sq mi)
 (June 2020)
 • Total 32,500
Time zone UTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+13 (NZDT)
Map of postcodes
Website Southland District Council

Southland District is a New Zealand territorial authority that covers the south of the South Island as well as Stewart Island/Rakiura.


Southland District was formed through the 1989 local government reforms. Four local authorities were amalgamated at that time: Wallace County, Winton Borough, Stewart Island and Southland County. John Casey, who was first elected onto Southland County Council in 1977, oversaw the amalgamation and was elected Southland District's first mayor in 1989.


Southland District covers the majority of the land area of Southland Region, although the region also covers Gore District, Invercargill City and adjacent territorial waters. It has a land area of 30,400.94 km2, excluding inland waters such as Lake Te Anau, Lake Manapouri, and Lake Hauroko.

Southland District contains the towns of Winton, Riverton, Lumsden and Te Anau, and the islands south of Foveaux Strait:

The seat of the District Council is Invercargill, which, however, is not part of Southland District, but a territorial authority in its own right.

Two of New Zealand's largest national parks are within the boundaries of Southland District: Fiordland National Park, and Rakiura National Park (which covers most of Stewart Island / Rakiura).

Sister cities


Southland District covers 29,574.53 km2 (11,418.79 sq mi) and had an estimated population of 32,500 as of June 2020, with a population density of 1.1 people per km2.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 28,437 —    
2013 29,613 +0.58%
2018 30,864 +0.83%

Southland District had a population of 30,864 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 1,251 people (4.2%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 2,427 people (8.5%) since the 2006 census. There were 11,982 households. There were 16,029 males and 14,835 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.08 males per female. The median age was 39.1 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 6,534 people (21.2%) aged under 15 years, 5,262 (17.0%) aged 15 to 29, 14,436 (46.8%) aged 30 to 64, and 4,635 (15.0%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 88.1% European/Pākehā, 11.1% Māori, 1.1% Pacific peoples, 6.2% Asian, and 2.3% other ethnicities. People may identify with more than one ethnicity.

The percentage of people born overseas was 13.6, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 51.7% had no religion, 38.4% were Christian, 0.5% were Hindu, 0.2% were Muslim, 0.3% were Buddhist and 1.7% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 3,363 (13.8%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 5,739 (23.6%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $36,300, compared with $31,800 nationally. 3,732 people (15.3%) earned over $70,000 compared to 17.2% nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 13,956 (57.4%) people were employed full-time, 4,053 (16.7%) were part-time, and 519 (2.1%) were unemployed.

Individual wards (2018 boundaries)
Name Area (km2) Population Density (per km2) Households Median age Median income
Mararoa-Waimea Ward 17,420.86 7,953 0.46 3,081 38.8 years $36,800
Waiau-Aparima Ward 6,381.17 7,908 1.24 3,153 40.6 years $31,900
Winton-Wallacetown Ward 1,826.23 9,117 4.99 3,468 39.1 years $38,600
Waihopai-Toetoes Ward 2,176.35 5,481 2.52 2,055 37.2 years $37,900
Stewart Island/Rakiura Ward 1,747.74 408 0.22 222 49.3 years $33,500
New Zealand 37.4 years $31,800

Urban areas and settlements

The Southland District has three towns with a population over 1,000. Together they are home to 21.9% of the district's population.

Urban area Population

(June 2020)

% of district
Te Anau 2,940 9.0%
Winton 2,470 7.6%
Riverton 1,700 5.2%

Other settlements and localities in the district include:

Mararoa Waimea Ward

Waiau Aparima Ward

Waihopai Toetoes Ward

Winton Wallacetown Ward

Stewart Island-Rakiura Ward

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Distrito Southland para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Influential Hispanic activists
Janet Murguía
Nelson Merced
Jovita Idar
Dolores Huerta
María Teresa Kumar
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