The Institute of Directors New Zealand (IoD) are currently receiving applications for their “First Steps in Governance Award’.

The award provides the opportunity for a West Coast young professional to gain governance experience in the not-for-profit sector with an internship on the Development West Coast board.

The recipient of the award will also receive:

  • one year’s complimentary membership with IoD.
  • one year’s complimentary attendance at all Canterbury branch members’ events.
  • $850 towards an IoD director development course.
  • mentoring from an experienced director.

Applications are sought from individuals who:

  • reside in the West Coast region.
  • are able to demonstrate leadership, integrity and enterprise in their careers.
  • have a range of experience and skills (commercial, community, public service).
  • are able to commit the time to prepare for and attend meetings and associated events.
  • have not held a significant governance role to date (this does not include a role in a local sports, school or community organisation or club).

Development West Coast chair Renee Rooney says DWC are excited to be partnering with IoD on this initiative.

“It provides a fantastic opportunity for a young professional on the Coast to further their business experience, gain insight into good governance practice and learn about the dynamics of sitting on a board.”

Since 2001, DWC has provided development opportunities to aspiring leaders in the region through the West Coast Leadership and Governance programme. Renee views the First Steps in Governance Award as another great opportunity to build capabilities.

“Having more people in our communities with strong governance capabilities is of immense importance to our region for its growth, success and sustainability into the future.”

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Media Release: 6 October 2020

Wellbeing workshops.

Around 30 people attended the workshop facilitated by Hannah Fitzgibbon (Hannah Fitzgibbon Facilitation) and Astiana Trouland (Hauora Coaching).

DWC capability and growth advisor Ian Johnson said the workshop demonstrated that we need to be more forward in looking after ourselves and bringing our communities closer in times of doubt and crisis.

“The day that Hannah and Asti put together was extraordinary. The energy was contagious. Everything was practical and implementable. The statements on the value of the day from the attendees were profound and moving.

“Thank you Hannah and Asti for doing exactly the right thing at the right time,” said Ian.

Kimmy Nolan from HeliServices.NZ attended the workshop.

“It was brilliant. It actually made me stop and have a moment of time to myself. It made me appreciate more of what I do with myself, and it was really enjoyable.

“The girls presented in such a way that is understandable and relatable. And Ian tops it up with some really good life experiences. If it’s a course that you’re thinking about, I highly recommend that you go along, you won’t be disappointed,” said Kimmy.

As a result of the overwhelmingly positive attendance and feedback DWC have agreed to support another full day, Wellbeing Workshop at Shantytown on Wednesday November 4th.

The event is free to all owners, business managers and nominated staff who believe there is some real value to be had in ‘looking after yourself’ so you can in turn look after and support the people you feel responsible for. The content and strategies delivered are fact-based, robust, practical, and designed to be implemented.

2020 09 15 Wellbeing Workshop

Construction of a purpose-built dental surgery in Hokitika is underway with support from DWC.

Established Greymouth dentist Angelo Ioanides says the new clinic should be up and running by early to mid-November 2020.

“Like it or not, dentistry is an essential service. Having gone without the services of a local dentist for almost eight years, I’m incredibly excited to not only re-establish this essential service but to also be setting up one of New Zealand’s most technologically advanced dental surgeries right here in the heart of Hokitika,” says Angelo.

“We’re looking to secure the services of various visiting dental specialists to provide specialist care locally. Not only will this greatly reduce the need for Coaster’s to travel over the hill for care, it will also create more jobs locally. In fact, our plan is to employ nine locals to help us deliver extraordinary dental care to the region.

“Setting up a brand-new dental practice requires significant capital. Taking on this project as an independent solo dentist simply would not have been possible without the remarkable help of DWC. Over the five years of planning this project we faced countless challenges and obstacles and through it all DWC have been unwaveringly supportive,” says Angelo.

Having successfully run a crowdfunding campaign aimed at employing a larger team from day one, Hoki Dental is currently in the process of recruiting 4 people to join its team. For those interested in applying, more details can be found on the Hoki Dental Facebook page.

2020 09 15 Hoki Dental build

DWC’s Co.Starters business start-up and development programme is set to begin in Greymouth on 22 September.

The 9-week course is designed to help you find the best approach to starting and growing a business and collaborate with others who share your entrepreneurial spirit as you work through your business model.

Hannah Fitzgibbon attended the previous programme in Greymouth.

"Co.Starters is such an incredible opportunity. It helped me learn a process to work through business ideas eventually leading me to build Hannah Fitzgibbon Facilitation.
"I gained valuable connections, heard stories from business owners in the community and built the belief that running a business was possible for me too. My first clients even came from Co.Starters connections. My business wouldn't be here without the support of this program," she said.

Pana Leontiadu from Wavewise attended the programme in Westport.

“Co.Starters was so helpful in bringing Wavewise to life. The idea was in my head, but I was unsure about how to make my surf therapy programme happen. I didn't know about legal structures to start a social enterprise, how the financial side of things worked and what it takes to present a good pitch to get more support.

"Co.Starters is a great programme, I absolutely recommend it to everyone," Pana said.

If you would like to start your own business, develop your existing business, or explore and develop an idea or project then the Co.Starters programme is for you.


Wikipedian at Large on the West Coast

DWC has brought New Zealand’s ‘Wikipedian at Large’, Dr Mike Dickison, to the West Coast.

“Wikipedia is a window to the world, and every place’s public face,” says Mike Dickison, who spent a year travelling New Zealand as the world's first 'Wikipedian at Large', supported by the US Wikimedia Foundation.

Dickison is currently running free workshops across the West Coast to train people to become Wikipedia editors and showing tourism operators how the online encyclopaedia can help their business. With a team of remote volunteers, he is also working with heritage organisations, galleries, libraries, and museums to boost the West Coast's Wikipedia presence.

Wikipedia is the 8th most visited website in the world. Wikipedia articles are regularly in the top search results for any topic. Anyone can edit Wikipedia, and the articles are written by volunteers; currently, about 250,000 dedicated editors (Wikipedians) around the world.

“Despite the lack of an editorial board, Wikipedia's coverage is usually very accurate, sometimes amazingly so. There are teams of volunteers and software ‘bots’ that check the articles for accuracy and remove vandalism within a few minutes. Since it was launched in 2001, Wikipedia has been a great example of the power of collaboration and crowdsourcing,” he says.

But according to Dickison, New Zealand has a Wikipedia problem. “Our volunteer editor community is quite small. So in almost every area – towns, national parks, artists, endangered species – Wikipedia's coverage is much poorer than a similar place, person, or thing in the UK or the USA.

“For example, Lyme Regis is a seaside town in Dorset which is popular with fossil hunters. It has similar tourist numbers to Fox Glacier. But the article on the town Fox Glacier is only 150 words long, while the Lyme Regis article is 2600 words.

“The article on the Glacier itself is only about 400 words, and is dominated by coverage of fatal accidents! That's ridiculous for a world-class attraction. I can't imagine someone planning a trip to the West Coast and Googling the famous Fox Glacier wanting to stay and explore the area based on that.”

DWC marketing and communications officer Aaron Rees says having Dr Dickison on the Coast presents a great opportunity to increase our region’s presence on Wikipedia.
“In partnership with our district libraries, we will be holding several workshops across the region for the public, as well as sperate workshops for our tourism and hospitality operators to help them leverage Wiki to boost their online presence,” says Mr Rees.

Dickison says while Wikipedia itself is not a marketing tool, there are different projects businesses can work with, such as the online travel guidebook Wikivoyage and the image library Wikimedia Commons. “Anything we do to improve the depth and breadth of the Coast's coverage will have direct and indirect payoffs. We can all contribute, and there are thousands of volunteers around the world wanting to help."

Wiki Workshop