What is a Regional Identity?
A Regional Identity is a definition of who we are and what we value about our region. This is so much more than a logo. It identifies those things that are special to us and that capture our imagination. It is also about building a greater sense of awareness and pride in our place.
Telling our unique story expresses our special difference as a region. Anyone wanting to understand and discover more about our region needs to appreciate our way of life and the things we value. A good starting point is knowing what’s gone before, what’s shaped our place and influenced us as a people to appreciate the Central Otago we have come to know and love.
By defining our region’s identity, we are creating the vision for the kind of place we want Central Otago to be in the years ahead. It is like a route map to the Central Otago we want to enhance and protect ̶ one that reflects our community, is sustainable, and is true to ourselves.
We know there are few parts in the world that will leave you with a lasting sense of difference. Central Otago is undoubtedly one of them, from its landscapes, its seasons, its people, its products and experiences. Together we must celebrate it and look after it. To help achieve this, we have based our regional identity around a set of values to help build on its uniqueness and create the kind of place we can be proud of now and into the future. We are all encouraged to embrace these values in our everyday lives.
There will be many influences that could alter this unique region, meaning it is important that we all make wise choices that last beyond our lifetime.
It’s up to each one of us to protect this world of difference – a life of involvement or generations of regret.
As individuals, businesses and communities we can enhance our region by standing by our regional values:
Our Regional Values
1. Make a Difference
Central Otago people will aspire and lead others with our special point of difference.
We stand for: Vision, being at the cutting edge, setting directions and accepting challenges.
When you love a place enough, you care about what happens to it. You care about the way it develops.
Each one of us has the opportunity to affect good change in Central Otago — big or small. Think about what you can do to make a difference, whether it is at home, school or at work. That means actively getting involved. It’s about making wise decisions that last beyond your lifetime.
As locals, each one of us can actively get involved in making Central Otago a better place.
2. Respecting Others
Central Otago people will respect our cultural and personal differences.
We stand for: Inclusive actions; harmonious positive communities.
There are many influences that shape us as individuals - our upbringing, our life experiences. Take time to listen, take time to walk in someone else’s shoes and get to understand a little more of their world, you might be surprised what you learn and come to appreciate.
How can you show your respect for others?
3. Embracing Diversity
Central Otago people will recognise differences and embrace diversity.
We stand for: Freedom of ideas and different thinking.
We know the edge is unsettling and risky – yet it is perfect for new ideas. Embracing diversity is being open to new ideas, open to exploring the possibilities and appreciating the strengths and talents each person brings.
Central Otago is a place where there is the merging of traditional and new ideas. This can be a challenge, but it can also add a sense of richness to our community.
Take a moment to think how can you embrace diversity?
4. Adding Value
Central Otago people will always ask ourselves if there is a better way – one that achieves a premium status.
We stand for: Unique experiences and quality interactions
When you are passionate about a place, you want to look after it and make it a better place. The challenge for each one of us is stop and think about what we can do to enhance this region and then to turn those thoughts into actions.
Adding value could be as simple as having a quality moment with a friend, or neighbour or even a stranger which adds to their lives. It could be delivering service with a personalised touch.
Think about the little things that create a quality experience.
5. Having Integrity
Central Otago people will seek to be open and honest.
We stand for: Friendly interactions, community-mindedness and a truthful approach.
In Central Otago we’d like to think that this is a place where people have time to talk and share with each other - a way of life that shuns pretension.
Being open and honest is a wonderful quality that we value in others. Each of us will know someone we really respect for these qualities — they are people who are refreshing to be around. None of us are perfect but we can aspire to be authentic and choose to be open and honest.
6. Learning from the past.
Central Otago people will learn from past experiences with future generations in mind.
We stand for: Making a positive difference to tomorrow.
In Central Otago you cannot help but feel the rich history of this unique place.
Choosing to reflect on past experiences can be insightful. We can learn from past mistakes. Valuable life-giving lessons can be learnt from the past. The biggest challenge is choosing to want to learn from the past in the first place.
What lessons have you learnt?
7. Making a sustainable difference
Central Otago people will make decisions in business with the community in mind and in harmony with the natural environment.
We stand for: Financial viability, sustainable business practices, quality and balance.
Central Otago is a special part of the world. Wide-open spaces and small communities are very much part of its charm.
It’s up to each one of us to think about how we can help celebrate and preserve this natural environment — a life of involvement or generations of regret. In doing so we can help create the kind of place we can be proud of.
How can you do your bit to sustain the environment?
8. Protecting our rich heritage
Central Otago people will protect and celebrate our rich heritage in landscapes, architecture, flora and fauna and different cultural origins.
We stand for: A living heritage.
Spend time in Central Otago’s wide open spaces. See the diverse landscapes, knee high flora and hosted fauna and be reminded that this is an ancient land that has barely changed over the centuries. Remnants of our history can still be seen if you care to look.
Preserving our past is as important to us as protecting our future. Take a moment to absorb the timelessness and rich history of this unquestionably unique place.
What can you do to celebrate and look after the distinctive character and sense of history that is part of our identity?
9. Meeting our obligations
Central Otago people will meet legal obligations at both a local and national level.
We stand for: Meeting building and resource consent obligations, OHS and DOC concessions.
Do the right thing by our region and check out what legal requirements need to be met before setting up a business, tourism activity or developing a piece of land.
Meeting your legal obligations should be a priority. Once these foundations are set then you can start with confidence that you’ve done the right thing. Take a practical step and find out what you need to do.
Do you meet your community and national obligations?
A Unique Mark
How do you capture everything about Central Otago in a statement?
Perhaps you don’t, but instead pick words that stimulate the imagination and let Central do the rest. Central Otago is after all a world unto itself. The expression chosen was ‘Central Otago - A World of Difference’ because it speaks volumes, just as a picture paints a thousand words. In a landscape sense, Central Otago is without comparison. In a community sense we are a place of big hearts and stoic determination, where people take on significant challenges - fiercely different and proud of it. To a visitor, it is a place that must be experienced to be believed.
Defining what is special to us as a region has therefore helped provide a guide so that local management plans and strategies can best suit our region while protecting our natural resources - our communities, visitor experiences, lifestyles and types of economic development.
Our regional identity provides a platform to tell our stories, and remind ourselves of this special place we call home.
Become a Regional Identity Partner
Any Central Otago business or community group who is passionate about Central Otago and aligns with our regions values can be a proud partner too.
Contact the Regional Identity Manager to arrange a time to meet with you.