Ready For Growth - a development project for the Gore District

Growing the Gore District’s population by 1500 people by 2030 is the ambitious aim of this development project.

Ready for Growth is a community-led project that will focus on shaping the District’s future economic and social aspirations and goals.

It was initiated by the Gore District Council following last year’s successful economic summit that saw over 90 business and community leaders come together to talk about the District’s challenges and opportunities.

There are six action teams. They will focus on:

  • Business and Retail - chair Susie Bernard (House of Travel, Gore)
  • Community Wellbeing - chair Brendon McDermott (Sport Southland)
  • Facilitating Growth - chair Ian Davidson-Watts (Gore District Council)
  • Industry and Innovation - chair Melissa King (Farmlands, Gore)
  • Population and Workforce - chair John Hogue (Ministry of Education)
  • Tourism and Natural Environment - chair Warrick Low (Venture Southland)

The action teams will into the development of a strategic action plan for the District. A steering group chaired by former senior police officer Richard McPhail will lead the process. Steering group members are Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks, chair of the Council’s Growth Committee Cr Doug Grant, Hokonui Runanga managing trustee Terry Nicholas and the action team leaders.

Vision: Rural City Living in action

Mission: For the Gore District to embrace the concept of Rural City Living, to make it the best place in New Zealand to live, work, visit and do business.

Objective: To grow the Gore District population by 1500 people by 2030.

Core Values

  • Our ‘can do’ attitude is at our core
  • We have a huge amount of pride in our unique identity
  • As members of the Gore District community we care for each other
  • We place strong value on a spirit of collaboration
  • We are an open, inclusive and welcoming community
  • A strong heart/pulse is at the centre of our community

Keeping in touch

Every third Wednesday of the month steering group chairman Richard McPhail features in the Ensign. You can read his columns below

Wednesday 21 March [PDF, 198 KB]

For more information on the Ready for Growth project, please contact Economic Development Coordinator Mayoral Office Ceri Macleod on 021 941 198 or via email

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: