The West Coast was well represented at BE (Business Events) Reconnected in Auckland. The event at the start of the month was attended by Louise Woodburn and Patrick Dault from DWC, Andrea Forrest and Laugharne Kemp from the West Coast Events Centre at Shantytown Heritage Park, and Phillip Barnett and Gina Ashworth from West Coast Conferences & Events.
"The tradeshow and networking event brought together business event buyers from across New Zealand and there was a lot of interest from buyers for incentive travel for groups of 20-80 people, with a particular interest from buyers for luxury accommodations and uniquely West Coast experiences," said Louise, DWC's Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events Executive.
In early December DWC ran its inaugural business events familiarisation programme hosting four conference and incentive organisers on the West Coast for four days. They had a fantastic experience and a couple of organisers now have clients considering the West Coast for incentives in 2021.
The participants tried pounamu carving at Bonz ‘n’ Stonz, heli-hiking with Fox Glacier Guiding, a tour and tasting with Reefton Distilling Co. and met with hotel and venue operators in South Westland, Hokitika, Greymouth, and Moana. The participants concluded their programme with the Scenic Plus experience on the Tranz Alpine with its exceptional service and delicious catering.
Liz Maxwell from ESP Ventures participated in the famil saying: "We had a most rewarding few days on the West Coast, it’s certainly given us a lot to think about. The positive welcome we received from the operators in Franz Josef was heart-warming indeed and I certainly plan to look at presenting BE (business events) options to my clients for 2021."
Adair Cameron from Red Hot Travel & Events said: "We all thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a tonne about the region. I’ve already got one client looking at an itinerary with me so I’m pretty happy about that!’
Attendees of the inaugural business events familiarisation programme on the West Coast at Reefton Distilling Co.
DWC is working with the Grey District Council, landlords and SignLink Graphics to put scenic decals up around the Greymouth CBD.
DWC Programme Co-ordinator Rachel Doolan said: “The aim is to brighten up the town and help showcase some of the amazing locations and things to do in our beautiful backyard. More scenic decals are still to come."
Community spirit wins West Coaster Eric de Boer a First Steps in Governance award.
A strong desire to give back to the West Coast community has helped land Eric de Boer an Institute of Directors Canterbury First Steps in Governance award.
Eric, an Infrastructure Delivery Manager at Buller District Council (BDC), will take up a governance internship with Development West Coast, a charitable trust that manages, invests and distributes income to promote economic benefit and employment on the West Coast. Eric will also receive a year’s complimentary IoD membership, including professional development training, attendance at Canterbury Branch functions, as well as one-on-one mentoring from an experienced director.
Development West Coast Chair Renee Rooney says “Eric is passionate about developing his governance skills, and his enthusiasm and appreciation of the West Coast region’s strengths and challenges will be a great asset to the board.”
The IoD awards individuals who are motivated to further their business experience, gain insight into good governance practice and learn about the dynamics of sitting on a board. Several past recipients of the First Steps in Governance award, launched in 2014, have gone on to build successful governance careers.
Eric, who has lived on the West Coast for more than 15 years, says the award will be a great help in developing his governance and leadership skills so he can continue to support the wider region.
“Joining the board of Development West Coast will be an invaluable learning opportunity, allowing me to experience how a board operates and what good governance looks like in practice. Having the support of an experienced director through a mentoring relationship, as well as networking with fellow members of the Institute of Directors will also be highly beneficial to my governance journey. I’m grateful to the IoD and the First Steps in Governance programme for giving me this opportunity,” Eric says.
The selection panel were impressed with Eric’s desire to give back to the West Coast community, his approachable and open style, as well as his commitment to developing his governance skills. Eric was part of the 2014/15 intake for the 16-month Development West Coast Leadership & Governance Programme.
As well as his job at the BDC, which sees him delivering infrastructure improvement projects across the district, Eric is currently the Deputy Chair for the Home Builders West Coast Trust. This not-for-profit focuses on working with West Coast families and whanau who are facing challenging circumstances and need support to make changes in their lives.
Eric’s long-term career goal is to continue to serve the region, both practically and through governance, as well as complete his engineering qualifications. “I’d like to be involved in organisations that will help ensure the long-term viability of the region and, by connecting with Coast-based governance, help influence its future direction and key decision making.”
Eric will receive his First Steps in Governance award at an IoD function in Greymouth in early 2021.
Download: DWC 2020 Operations Report (6.5MB)
Development West Coast (DWC) has released a report on its operations with unaudited financial information for the year ended 31 March 2020. The report highlights a year of extremes - record engagement with local businesses and a financial year disrupted by the impact of COVID-19.
During 2019/2020, DWC approved $3.6m in commercial finance (a 61 percent increase from the previous year). A further $3.34m was invested in regional development and community projects while continuing to fund its bulk funding commitments, including Major District Initiative (MDI) projects of $1.2m per annum, and various Extraordinary Distribution Fund projects.
DWC ended the year with a net profit of $1.4m, ensuring its ability to continue investing in the region. Although financial markets were volatile due to COVID-19, DWC’s diversified portfolio of investments managed a return of 4.04 percent.
DWC’s direct investment into the West Coast economy has now reached $158.8m while still maintaining the fund at $127.7m. This has all been achieved from an initial fund of $92m.
The true value of DWC to the region goes far beyond direct investment into the economy. DWC staff are working with more local businesses than ever before to build capability, as well as helping them access other capital and business opportunities.
During the financial year, DWC actively worked with over 270 clients (a 93 percent increase), and around 1,200 people attended DWC business events and workshops.
DWC is continuing to leverage the Fund to attract investment into the region. Over the last four years DWC has contributed around $250k towards feasibility studies, business cases and funding applications which have helped secure over $50m in central government funding for projects that will create jobs and strengthen resilience on the West Coast.
COVID-19 has triggered a significant economic shock to the West Coast and DWC is focussed on helping local businesses manage the impacts, as well as looking ahead at the economic recovery.
The 2020 report will be available on DWC’s website. This report is unaudited due to delays in Audit New Zealand’s timeline as a result of COVID-19. To provide relevant information, this document has been updated to reflect data on some of our key activities up to 31 October 2020. The final audit report will be published and available when Audit New Zealand concludes their audit.
Download: DWC 2020 Operations Report (6.5MB)
Greymouth based Liddell Contracting was established in 1992 and has built a reputation as one of the South Island's most diverse contractors with Engineering, Crane Hire, Civil Construction, and Blasting and Coating divisions.
Liddell Contracting Operations Manager, Anna Liddell, says: “The funding and support DWC's Upskill initiative is providing local business is incredible.”
“Tania’s team has given us the opportunity to train staff into roles that benefit not only them but also us as a company. With the funding that is being allocated to infrastructure on the Coast, it is the perfect time to invest in our staff and keep the work as local as possible.
"Through Upskill we have been able to bring industry recognised welding trainers into the workshop to train workshop staff who did not have qualifications, to become certified welders. This helps us to get more work and increase productivity whilst committing to our employees. Upskilling current staff helps us to grow and create new employment opportunities.”