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The Southern Initiative

Tāmaki Herehere ki te Tonga

The Southern Initiative (TSI) champions, stimulates and enables social and community innovation in South Auckland.

What is TSI?

TSI is a major place-based regeneration programme established in the Auckland Plan. It covers the local board areas of Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Ōtara-Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Papakura.

TSI is attracting a high level of interest and investment from central government, community, business and philanthropy groups.

TSI has become Auckland's go-to community and social innovation centre, developing a practice that empowers the community to thrive.

Enabling the community

Almost 20 per cent of Auckland's population lives in the area covered by TSI.

The population is youthful, primarily Pasifika and Māori, and abundant in assets, talent, creativity and opportunity.

It also faces complex social, economic, cultural and environmental challenges.

Objectives of TSI

The Southern Initiative aims to create, foster and support innovative social change by:

  • identifying local change makers
  • brokering relationships
  • procuring assets and services strategically
  • encouraging social enterprise
  • building community and individual capability
  • creating and supporting networks
  • supporting and amplifying community-driven initiatives.

To achieve this, we are working with a range of government, council, iwi, community and business groups, concentrating on three key focus areas:

  • employment and skills
  • whānau and families
  • entrepreneurship and enterprise.

Key focus areas

TSI concentrates on initiatives that produce high quality, high-impact results.

Employment and skills

For the community to transform, its people must have skills and access to meaningful and high value employment opportunities.

Our vision is that south Aucklanders will be sought after in an increasingly globalised and technological world, because they are ahead of the curve.

Case studies

  • Māori and Pasifika Trades Training - Free trades training to Māori and Pasifika people, focusing on courses connected to council activities, such as infrastructure and construction.
  • Youthfull – Digital job opportunity platform targeting employers willing to accept applicants based on attitude and potential.

Whānau and families

Children and young people will shape the future of Auckland.

Our vision is that children and young people in south Auckland will be given the best start in life.

Case studies

  • Early Years – co-design activity bringing parents and whānau together with staff from Auckland Council, Plunket and other agencies to understand the needs of parents and communities.
  • Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura – a Ministry of Health initiative delivered in partnership with TSI, aimed at improving people's health where they live, learn, work and play.

Entrepreneurship and enterprise

An entrepreneurial mindset encourages resourcefulness, creativity and vision.

Our vision is that south Auckland will become a leader in community-led economic development.

Case studies

  • popUP South – Community-led initiative offering a chance to sell Polynesian food and handicrafts.
  • Makerhood – A movement to help South Aucklanders grow and promote 'maker culture' – tinkering, fixing and creating.

More information about TSI

For more information, visit


TSI reports

TSI newsletters