DWC Annual Report 2019: Chair's Report

This year Development West Coast (DWC) has challenged itself to be a more customer-focused organisation. This has resulted in greater engagement with local businesses. Our core values of accountability and transparency drive our commitment to better communicate the stories behind the numbers and the work we do, so it gives me great pleasure to present our Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2019.

It has been a year of change as we transition DWC into a wider economic development role. We are here to help grow businesses. We are listening to their needs and working with them to overcome the barriers they face in their day-to-day operations.

DWC Trustees are always mindful of the balance required to meet both current demands and the needs of future generations. This year the Trustees have put particular emphasis on maintaining the real value of the Investment Fund from which we derive the income that we can distribute locally. At present, for every $25m that DWC has in its fund, it can sustainably spend $1m in the region.

Running the Fund down or even conserving it at the current level means there will be less money to invest in the region in the future. As an example, today's $128.4m equity would need to be $184m in 2037 to generate the same benefits as in 2001 (assuming the inflation rate is replicated).

Despite the best efforts of our resourceful people, the last five years has seen the West Coast in a major economic downturn. DWC’s recently published Economic Update indicates the economy is finally showing signs of recovery. While Buller is still recovering, the Westland and Grey districts appear to be on track to meet most of their targets set in the Tai Poutini West Coast Economic Development Strategy (2018-2025).

While it is heartening to see some positive trends emerging within our economy, we cannot become complacent. There will inevitably be further challenges ahead and we must meet these with a unified voice and work together to find effective outcomes for all involved.

Under the Regional Economic Development Strategy, which builds on the 2017 West Coast Economic Development Action Plan, DWC has been tasked with leading the region’s economic direction and development. To ensure a coordinated approach, there has been a restructuring to the provision of regional economic development on the West Coast. It has taken time to put these changes in place, but we believe they will enable the region to work together in a more unified manner on regional development. This will ultimately present new opportunities for the Coast.

Meanwhile, the Government has acknowledged the opportunities present in regional New Zealand with the creation of the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund (PGF). Through working together, the West Coast has to date secured $130.5m in PGF funding for projects. It is great to see these investments are not only playing to our historic strengths but also looking to the future by supporting our emerging industries.

This Annual Report highlights some of the ways we work with businesses and industries to strengthen the economy and create thriving communities across our region. We must stress that these achievements do not happen in isolation. From the business leaders who give their time to present inspirational talks at networking events, to the business mentors who volunteer to help local entrepreneurs, many people must be thanked for the invaluable support they give DWC in achieving its objects.

Thanks must also be given to the West Coast councils who we work with on many projects. DWC's investment into community distributions and projects reached $64.8m this year. This includes $20.1m committed to the three West Coast district councils through to 2022 via the Major District Initiative Fund (MDI), and a one-off $6m Extraordinary Distribution Fund (EDF) also allocated across the councils.

This year has seen many Coast businesses succeeding on the national and international stage with the media spotlight shining brightly on their achievements. At DWC we provided a platform for the region to come together to celebrate success by holding the 6th Development West Coast Leading Light Business Excellence Awards. This was a fantastic evening showcasing the finalists and the stories behind their businesses.

This Annual Report aims to tell our DWC story, of what we do and how we do it. We have included some first-hand stories from our fast growing client base, which has doubled over the past year. We acknowledge that actions speak louder than words and that we are accountable to our West Coast community. With a unified vision and strategy in place for the region, we look forward to working with all stakeholders to help grow businesses to grow the Coast.

I would like to sincerely thank my fellow Trustees for their support and contribution during the year, Advisory Body for their sound professional and independent advice, chief executive Chris Mackenzie for his leadership and the DWC staff for their ongoing hard work and unwavering commitment to the organisation and the West Coast region.

Renee Rooney 

Chair

Renee Rooney - Chair

 

Download the full Annual Report (PDF 5MB)

 

 

What our clients are saying:

“DWC’s support has been a game changer for me. They have given me confidence to execute my business strategy because they believe in what I am doing. This is really important because being in business can be challenging so the objective and knowledgeable expertise they offer is invaluable.” Emily Miazga, Em's Power Cookies 

“So many people don’t realise what support is available for businesses here on the Coast. We highly recommend other local businesses take advantage of the many forms of assistance available through DWC. We’ve always had amazing communication and support when dealing with them.” Moreen Evans, Jeff Evans Ltd. 

“Bouncing my thoughts off experienced advisors and hearing their input was extremely helpful. An informed outside perspective is invaluable to me as a small business owner." Jase Blair, Printing.com West Coast

“We found the DWC staff to be knowledgable and helpful and very keen to keep our entire operation on the West Coast.” Lewis Simpkin, Westland Workgear

"Having support from DWC has allowed us to grow our business and create new jobs in the area." Nevelle Thomson, Thomsons Butchery.

Coast Women Network

Almost 70 West Coast women attended a recent Women in Business breakfast at the Paroa Hotel, to network and share ideas.

"The audience were treated to passionate talks from three inspirational female entrepreneurs who are making the Coast proud with their achievements," Development West Coast events coordinator Rachel Doolan said.

Host and DWC trustee, Dame Julie Christie, said guest speakers Emily Miazga (Em's Power Cookies), Andrea Rogers (The Crafty Chook), and Patsy Bass (Reefton Distilling Co) showed the importance of a strong and authentic story.

"These women are living proof that there is no such thing as good luck in business, it is in fact impeccable timing and excellent management."

Jan Roberts, from the Breakers Boutique Accommodation, attended and said it was great for networking with like-minded people in the community, making new relationships and reconnecting with others as "we don't often get a chance to so during the hustle and bustle of everyday life."

Lee Harris, from the West Coast Professional Women's Network, said it was inspirational
for women on the Coast who were considering starting their own businesses.

“These three also all mentioned Development West Coast in their speeches - good to hear of practical assistance for our entrepreneurs.”

Penny Kirk attended saying: “The Business Breakfast Event was an excellent opportunity for women across the whole community to come together for learning, inspiration and networking.”

 

Goldfield suites

Swapping high-pressure Government jobs for the Coast life

After years of high-pressure roles in Wellington, Andy and Jolene finally left the ‘pressure cooker’ for a better quality of life on the West Coast, where they now own and operate boutique accommodation suites surrounded by the Coast’s Untamed Natural Wilderness.

Andy and Jolene were both born and bred in Wellington, spending the last 20 years on the Kapiti Coast.

“Living on the Kapiti Coast required daily commutes of about an hour each way to our respective Government jobs,” Jolene says.

Andrew was an Intelligence Manager, with a background in law enforcement. His career saw him do border patrol for customs, deploy to Bali as part of the NZ Police response to the 2002 Bali bombing, undertake peace keeping in Timor Leste in 2006, and work in Bougainville and the Solomon Islands with NZ Police. He also helped establish the Commerce Commission’s intelligence team, and recently established an intelligence-led approach to Education NZ’s international student attraction activities.

Jolene had a background in hospitality, which led to running motels and managing the front desk for large hotels. She has also worked in the not-for-profit sector, Government policy and operational ministries, and most recently at New Zealand's Crown Research Institute Environment, Science and Research as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive.

“Our motivation for moving to the Coast was all about quality of life. High pressure government roles, combined with the daily commute, five days a week, got us thinking ‘there must be more to life than this?’” Jolene says.

“The thought of another 15 years in our roles, alongside the 20 good summers theory (when you hit 50 you only have 20 good summers left in life), resulted in the decision to not defer living until we retire. The result was a complete sea-change for us.”

This brought them to Greymouth, where they now own and operate the Goldfield Suites - boutique accommodation built on historic goldfields next-door to Shantytown.
“Our five suites are situated in an elevated clearing within two hectares of native bush and placed to make the most of the views and the rural setting.”

Jolene says there were many advantages to moving to the West Coast.

“The lower cost of land meant we could afford to buy something unique that we couldn’t have afforded in the North Island. Coupled with the largely unspoiled environment, we have the opportunity to take an environmentally sustainable approach to our business.

“For us the advantages are all about quality of life, particularly the extra time in the day, the ability to work together, the ability to enjoy the magnificent environment that is on our doorstep, and the amazing friendly Coasters.

“Life has now become all about ‘working to live, not living to work’.”

 

Goldfield Suites Boutique Accommodation:

https://goldfieldsuites.co.nz/

 

Goldfields Suites

DWC Annual Report 2019 Annual Report banner

Media Release 

Development West Coast 2019 Annual Report Released


2018/19 saw DWC transition into a wider economic development role following the 2017 West Coast Economic Development Action Plan, broadening its depth of business support and preparing for the migration of the functions of Tourism West Coast into DWC from 1 April 2019.

During the year, two additional Business Development Managers (BDM) were employed. Working alongside an existing BDM, they travel the length of the region to offer and provide support to our businesses, no matter what size or at what stage they may be at.

Over 1,100 people attended DWC’s events - double last year’s. We have also doubled to 140 the number of clients we are actively working with. 17 clients have been matched with business mentors.

DWC approved 80 percent of commercial finance applications received, with 13 approvals totalling $2.23m. A further $450,000 was invested in regional development projects and $230,000 in community funding. In addition, DWC continues to fund its other commitments, including the Major District Initiative projects of $1.2m per annum, and Extraordinary Distribution Fund.

DWC’s Investment Fund had a sound year. While financial markets were volatile, an overall return of 7 percent was achieved and we finished the year with equity of $128.4m. This has enabled DWC to meet its strategic goal of maintaining the real value of its fund during the year, albeit we still sit below the real value of the original $92m settlement.

While we recorded a surplus of $5.4m for the year, our advisors are signalling that the strong returns we have been benefiting from may be more difficult to achieve over the coming year. Volatility in the investment markets has already been prevalent in the new financial year. This is something we need to manage as we work to protect the fund to meet both current demands and the needs of future generations.

Download a copy of the 2019 Annual Report (PDF 5MB):

Annual Report icon

 

(Wednesday 28 August 2019)

Goldfield suites

Swapping high-pressure Government jobs for the Coast life

 

After years of high-pressure roles in Wellington, Andy and Jolene finally left the ‘pressure cooker’ for a better quality of life on the West Coast, where they now own and operate boutique accommodation suites surrounded by the Coast’s Untamed Natural Wilderness.

Andy and Jolene were both born and bred in Wellington, spending the last 20 years on the Kapiti Coast.

“Living on the Kapiti Coast required daily commutes of about an hour each way to our respective Government jobs,” Jolene says.

Andrew was an Intelligence Manager, with a background in law enforcement. His career saw him do border patrol for customs, deploy to Bali as part of the NZ Police response to the 2002 Bali bombing, undertake peace keeping in Timor Leste in 2006, and work in Bougainville and the Solomon Islands with NZ Police. He also helped establish the Commerce Commission’s intelligence team, and recently established an intelligence-led approach to Education NZ’s international student attraction activities.

Jolene had a background in hospitality, which led to running motels and managing the front desk for large hotels. She has also worked in the not-for-profit sector, Government policy and operational ministries, and most recently at New Zealand's Crown Research Institute Environment, Science and Research as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive.

“Our motivation for moving to the Coast was all about quality of life. High pressure government roles, combined with the daily commute, five days a week, got us thinking ‘there must be more to life than this?’” Jolene says.

“The thought of another 15 years in our roles, alongside the 20 good summers theory (when you hit 50 you only have 20 good summers left in life), resulted in the decision to not defer living until we retire. The result was a complete sea-change for us.”

This brought them to Greymouth, where they now own and operate the Goldfield Suites - boutique accommodation built on historic goldfields next-door to Shantytown.
“Our five suites are situated in an elevated clearing within two hectares of native bush and placed to make the most of the views and the rural setting.”

Jolene says there were many advantages to moving to the West Coast.

“The lower cost of land meant we could afford to buy something unique that we couldn’t have afforded in the North Island. Coupled with the largely unspoiled environment, we have the opportunity to take an environmentally sustainable approach to our business.

“For us the advantages are all about quality of life, particularly the extra time in the day, the ability to work together, the ability to enjoy the magnificent environment that is on our doorstep, and the amazing friendly Coasters.

“Life has now become all about ‘working to live, not living to work’.”

 

Goldfield Suites Boutique Accommodation:

https://goldfieldsuites.co.nz/

 Goldfields Suites

 

 

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