Southland District is a territorial authority in the South Island of New Zealand.
Southland District was formed through the 1989 local government reforms. Four local authorities were amalgamated at that time: Wallace County, Winton Borough, Stewart Island County and most of 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 the islands south of Foveaux Strait:
– Solander Islands
– Stewart Island/Rakiura
– Ruapuke Island
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).