Jets will soon be flying back to Invercargill.
Invercargill Airport is getting a half million dollar cash injection, as it gears up for the first direct jet flights to and from Auckland since 1995.
It's part of a $1.7 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to drive Southland's growth.
Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt told Heather du Plessis-Allan they haven't had direct jet flights since 1995.
"Just wasn't economic at that time and also the runway wasn't really long enough."
Shadbolt says the growth of tourism has changed the fortune of Southland - bringing visitors back to the region.
Stewart Island - which has around 400 residents but attracts close to 40,000 visitors a year - gets $100,000 for an economic development plan.
Almost $600,000 will go into water storage, and $550,000 to establishing a start-up investment network.