Southern man

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In New Zealand, the southern man is a stereotypical southern male, well used to the solitude and conditions of open mountain or hill country, and completely out of his depth in the city. Usually depicted as wearing an oilskin duster, Swanndri and Slouch Hat. Although the image is closely related to Kiwi stockmen.

The stereotype draws on images of high country farmers and hunters, particularly from areas such as Central Otago and the Mackenzie Basin, who work large sheep stations, often employing the horse and dog rather than mechanised transport, due to the terrain they have to cover.[1][2]

The stereotype became better known through the advertising campaign of Otago's best known pale lager beer, Speight's, in a series of advertisements which have been running since the early 1990s.[3] Speight's sponsored the production of a bronze statue personifying the stereotype, "Southern Man" by Sam Mahon, which has stood at the entrance to Dunedin International Airport since 2000.[4]

The stereotype was later attributed to a song regarded as an unofficial anthem of Dunedin City and Otago in general. Written by Ad Agency Creative Director, Roy Meares, produced and sung by Murray Grindlay[5]. This song was performed for Otago Rugby and Speight's Breweries by local musician Denis Henderson. The southern man has also been connected with stage productions such as Richard Meros salutes the Southern Man.[6]


  1. ^ Bishop, D. "What makes the perfect Southern Man?",, 9 February 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  2. ^ Patricelli, E. Moving south,, 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  3. ^ Macdonald, C. "Southern man", Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand, 5 May 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  4. ^ Dingwall, R. "Southern Man (Dunedin Airport)", Otago Sculpture Trust, 19 November 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  5. ^ Speight's Southern Man Compilation,, 14 November 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  6. ^ Is there a place for the Southern Man in today’s NZ?",, 6 March 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2017.