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In Selwyn District - The Best of Both Worlds five local business people talk about the benefits of living, working and doing business in Selwyn.

Transcript of the video:

At first glance, Selwyn District does not look like the fastest growing area in NZ. Stretching from the wide waters of Lake Ellesmere to the distant Southern Alps, the district is best known for its rural environment, stunning mountains and snow-fed rivers.

But Selwyn is also at the hub of a growth boom, which is bringing new families, jobs and businesses to this already prosperous district.

Izone (Southern Business Hub) is one of NZ’s biggest and best designed industrial parks. Located near NZ’s fastest growing town Rolleston, it is projected to get even bigger, providing ever more jobs for the district’s skilled workforce. For Izone employees and business owners who live in Rolleston or one of the other attractive towns and settlements, work is just several stress-free minutes from home.

Melissa McLean, General Manager for Southern Gas, lives locally and chose Izone to establish her business:

Setting up a business in the Selwyn zone was really easy. The Council was great to deal with, they were very supportive and we got our resource and building consents within a matter of weeks, rather than months, if we had have gone through town. Definite consider Izone Business Park. There are more and more buildings popping up. We have everything we need, and it really is the town of the future.

It’s not just the industrial park that has been bitten by the growth bug. Smaller enterprises in other towns are also flourishing. Nairn Electrical has been operating in Leeston for over 30 years. Owner Gary Roxburgh has seen his business go from strength to strength:

We expanded with the district, which was with the dairy industry and the Selwyn District Council and all the subdivisional work around the place. And we went right through to where we are today with 27 people. The benefits of working and living in Selwyn, for me, it’s been being able to raise my family here and feeling safe. It’s a good environment.

Education options abound in Selwyn. A fourth high school is planned and the District even has its own university. Lincoln is internationally recognised as a science hot-spot, excelling in agriculture, horticulture, landscape design, and many other fields. As a predominantly rural district, it’s no surprise that land-based industries are big in Selwyn. The Turner family of Rakaia milks some of the largest dairy herds in New Zealand. Dave Turner:

Selwyn really offers the best of both worlds. We have the advantages of living in a good rural community. It’s close to Christchurch, we’re only 45 minutes from town, and we have very good local services and local community. Yeah, lotta fun things to do around here. Close to the ski fields, Porter Heights, and also jet-boating on the Rakaia.

But Selwyn’s job and business opportunities are not all ‘down on the farm’. Since moving to Selwyn District, Tricia Johnston of Selwyn Toddlers has set up her own thriving business:

We transferred down here from Waikato, about three and a half years ago. We decided to do home-based childcare. We started with just five ladies doing childcare in their own home as home-based educators, and now we have 22 girls working throughout the Selwyn District. The climate is fabulous. So close to everything, if we wanna go into the mountains to see the snow we can do that in a heartbeat.

Porter’s Ski Field is one of six ski fields in the Selwyn District. Uli Dinsenbacher, Manager:

Porter’s Ski Field is so close to Christchurch, a really short and easy access road. While this year we’re working mainly on improving our snow-making system, more snow fencing, new hire equipment, but our main effort is we’re trying to establish an alpine village down below and expand into the next valley, called Crystal Valley.

Selwyn continues to grow, and for good reason. If offers lifestyle and employment choices that combine the best of town and country. And there is plenty of room for people of all ages to play in Selwyn.

There’s no way on earth that we’re going back. We’re here for good. – Tricia Johnston

Video presented by: Economic Development, Community Services. To find out more about living, working and playing in Selwyn District, visit

Thank you to:

  • Southern Gas
  • R D Hughes Development
  • Nairn Electrical
  • Rakaia Island Dairies
  • Selwyn Toddlers
  • Porters Ski Area
  • Lincoln Farmers and Craft Market

Filming and editing Jared Waddams (DVM) and Rowan Taylor (SDC)

Izone footage courtesy of Imagic

Post-production Jared Waddams (DVM)

Project Manager Alissa Miller

Producer Claire Bryant (SDC)

Copyright 2010 Selwyn District Council