Lumsden freedom camping and Southland's rural highways got a Christmas boost from central government over the past week.
Last week Lumsden's town centre was given a $220,000 boost in government funding to help upgrade the town's historic railway precinct.
The funding covers half the cost of the project, which will involve sealing and landscaping the railway precinct, providing signage and rubbish bins and upgrading and extending the toilet block.
The project intends to make it easier to manage one of the Southland District's few in-town freedom camping sites, which is located in Lumsden's town centre.
The Southland District Council (SDC) worked closely with the Lumsden Community Development Area subcommittee on the application, which was approved in the first round of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Tourism Infrastructure Fund allocations.
On Sunday (December 17), Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced a short-term boost in road safety funding for the summer, which included rural roads in Southland.
Ten different stretches of Southland roads will get upgraded as part of a nationwide spend of $22.5 million to improve rural State highways across New Zealand.
These sections are SH90 Raes Junction to McNab, SH6: Frankton to Five Rivers, SH94: Mossburn to Milford Sound, SH97: Five Rivers to Mossburn, SH94: Oreti River bridge (SH6) to Mossburn, SH99: Lorneville to Riverton, SH94: Gore to Lumsden, SH6: SH94 to Winton, SH96: Mataura to Ohai, and SH99: Riverton to Clifden.
Ms Genter said the improvements would include rumble strips, signage and safety barriers. Many deaths and injuries could be avoided on these roads by making relatively simple changes, she said.
"Despite what many people think, improving road safety is not just about getting people to drive better. It's also about making our roads much safer, so that when people make mistakes lives aren't lost. On too many of our roads a simple error, such as taking a corner too fast or being momentarily distracted, can be fatal."
Ms Genter said next year the Government would further increase funding for road safety improvements. She said she had also written the NZTA and all local councils to say that setting more appropriate speed limits on high-risk stretches of road would be a priority for this government.