At a glance

This is an infographic showing statistics for the region of Te Tauihu Top of the South. It includes information about the population in 2018, projected population in 2048, Māori population and percentage of overall regional population in 2018, a list of i

Arataki Te Tauihu – Top of the South regional direction [PDF, 2.5 MB]

Arataki Te Tauihu – Top of the South statistics table - infographic alternative [PDF, 132 KB]

The September v1.1 release of Arataki includes updates to reflect the severe weather events of 2023 and make minor corrections.

Te Tauihu Top of the South covers the prosperous regions of Te Tai o Aorere Tasman, Whakatū Nelson, and Te Tauihu-o-te-Waka-a Māui Marlborough. The population of the three regions will grow from 155,400 to about 175,000 by 2048, or 3% of the country’s population. The region is ageing faster than the national average.

The urban area of Whakatū has the highest share of people walking and cycling in Aotearoa New Zealand. Public transport use in the area has doubled in the past five years. A high proportion of journeys to work in the region are by private vehicles with a limited number of bus services available for work travel in Waiharakeke Blenheim.

Road and rail links down the East Coast are critical for the movement of freight and tourism between Waitohi Picton and Ōtautahi Christchurch. The ports in Whakatū and Waitohi play an important role in getting the regions’ goods to market.

The coastal communities and transport networks of Te Tauihu are expected to be continually impacted by more frequent and severe weather patterns, particularly in coastal and hilly areas. Seismic risks associated with the Alpine, Waimea, and Wairau Faults are also significant.

Focusing our efforts 

For efficient and effective progress, transport challenges in Te Tauihu Top of the South must be tackled in a cohesive way. The directions below identify the most important issues to be resolved over the next 10 years to make progress towards transport outcomes.

  • Apply a multi-outcome approach to the delivery of programmes and planning. This includes principles such as fairness, equity, safety, and light vehicle kilometre reduction.
  • Begin to reduce vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) in a way that’s fair, equitable, and improves quality of life.
  • Enable and support the region’s transition to a low-carbon economy.
  • Maintain and improve the resilience and efficiency of interregional connections to the North Island and to the west and east coasts.
  • Improve access to social and economic opportunities, especially by public transport, walking, and cycling.
  • Significantly reduce the harm caused by the region’s transport system, especially through improved road safety and reduced pollutants that are dangerous to people’s health.
  • Actively support, enable, and encourage growth and development in areas that already have good travel choices and shorter average trip lengths.
  • Rapidly accelerate the delivery of walking and cycling networks, predominantly through reshaping existing streets, to make these options safe and attractive.
  • Explore the potential for new and emerging technologies, such as on-demand services, to improve access to social and economic opportunities.
  • Better understand the impact of future economic transformation on travel patterns and freight volumes.
  • Explore opportunities to move to a more multimodal freight system with greater use of rail and coastal shipping.
  • Confirm how key resilience risks will be addressed over time, and work with communities to identify plans for when to defend, accommodate, or retreat.
  • Continue to implement road safety plans and programmes including those focused for iwi Māori.
  • Improve or maintain, as appropriate, physical access to marae, papakāinga, wāhi tapu, and wāhi taonga.

These will be updated over time to focus effort on the most critical matters.  

Arataki Te Tauihu – Top of the South regional direction [PDF, 2.5 MB]