Louise Woodburn joins DWC as MICE Executive.

Louise’s role at DWC is to increase the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) business on the Coast. She will attend tradeshows and networking events to meet with professional conference organisers and event managers, in addition to reaching out to groups and organisations.

Louise will be hitting the road meeting with local operators to learn about their businesses and discovering what they can offer.

The MICE market requires more than just accommodation and conference venues, other key suppliers include tour guides, AV companies, transport operators, caterers, and more. If you think your business or service is a good fit for this market, please contact Louise to share your information so she can best promote all operators in the region.

Part of her role will be to organise and host familiarisation tours and these opportunities will be shared with local operators when available.

Louise has close to ten years’ experience in a similar role in Scotland where she worked for a destination management company. A close relationship with destination management organisations was key to identifying and maximising opportunities for MICE business and she hopes that her role at DWC will help operators on the Coast to do the same.

For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2020 08 18 Louise welcome article

Vyvienne Kyle has 'returned home' to the West Coast where she takes on the role of Digital Engagement Officer for DWC.

"Tēna Kotou,
Ko Tara Tama tōku maunga
Ko te Tai-o Rehua tōku moana
Ko vyvienne tōku ingoa.

"Hello, Tara Tama (in Westland) is my mountain, the Tasman is my sea, my name is Vyvienne. That’s Vivienne with a Y,” she says.

Vyvienne brings years of digital marketing experience to DWC.

"My work has always been focussed on people, relationships, and community. I embrace digital tools to communicate and grow communities and trust.”

Her passion for the West Coast and her interest in computers, internet and relationships drew her to the role at DWC.

Vyvienne has strong ties to the West Coast. Her great, great grandfather, Henry Kyle had a garden and florist store in Raleigh Street, in Greymouth. Vyvienne has shifted to the Coast with her father, David, who was born and brought up in Greymouth.

“Every day is exciting for him as he meets up with his cousins and sees the places of his memories. Dad and I thank you for all the kind welcomes, and we love it when you say hi!

"Now, I encourage you to follow me on my journey, see what we do at DWC, I look forward to hearing your stories too! Reach out to me on Facebook, or LinkedIn."

Vyvienne will be keeping you informed about the business support services and events available through DWC, as well as showcasing the West Coast as a great place to work, live, and play.

Contact Vyvienne on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2020 08 18 Vyvienne welcome article

The global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a shift to a digital world and Techweek2020 is no different. The annual event series, which celebrates innovation in the New Zealand tech industry, will be digitally led for the very first time in 2020.

Development West Coast presented to webinars during Techweek 2020. 

Social Media: Building Your Brand

This webinar was presented by Stuart Dillon-Roberts  I  Digital Journey

This webinar focuses on businesses who are new to using social media and for those that use it a small amount but would like to see better results. It is also relevant for businesses who wish to increase their social media use as part of their COVID-19 recovery.

View webinar recording


This webinar was presented by Stuart Dillon-Roberts  I  Digital Journey

Now more than ever it has been proven vital, as a business, to have an E commerce website to sell your products.

Doing business online means different things to different businesses. For some it means a place to sell products and services. For others, it means a place to showcase what’s offered at a physical shop. Either way, you’ll need a dedicated online presence for your customers to find you: your own website or your own space in an online marketplace.

View webinar recording

TW20 Facebook Now Digital

The re-emergence of community transmission of COVID-19 has seen Auckland shift back to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand to Level 2. Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can access business advisory services through DWC and the Regional Business Partner (RBP) network.

Capability and Growth Manager Fiona Hill, who looks after the RBP programme for the West Coast, says DWC has been supporting West Coast enterprises at unprecedented levels since New Zealand entered lockdown.

“Through the COVID-19 business advisory fund, DWC can connect firms to expert advice at no cost to the business. Advice covers topics like business strategy, finance and cash flow, continuity planning, HR and employment relations, marketing and digital enablement strategies, and health and wellness for owners and staff. There is also additional support available for tourism businesses through the Tourism Transition Fund.”

To date, over 100 West Coast businesses have accessed COVID-19 advisory support through the RBP network, including Porky’s Takeaways.

Sonya Matthews and Andrew Lyes took over Hokitika’s iconic Porky’s Takeaways business in September 2019.

“After a manic six and a half months working in the business, a near vertical learning curve, the borders closed and the country went into lockdown due to COVID-19,” Sonya says.

“It was almost heart attack material. Having caught up on sleep, talked with our team and taken stock we hit the phone and with one of the first calls struck gold! We rang Fiona at DWC and asked her about business coaching options.”

Through the RBP network, Sonya accessed one-on-one business coaching sessions with James O’Connell from the Hospitality Company.

“We are blown away with how far we’ve come and what we’ve navigated; we are totally inspired with where we are headed; we are excited to have started building that best practice business we're striving for and we will be eternally grateful for the incredible opportunity and support DWC has enabled for us via the RBP network. So many post-COVID silver linings to be thankful for,” says Sonya.

The Rainforest Retreat in Franz Josef is another West Coast business to benefit from COVID-19 advisory support.

"Thank you to Ian and DWC with their help and support through this trying times," says Oscar Morgan General Manager of the Rainforest Retreat.

"It is great to know that there is an organisation out there that has our back. The funding we were given has given us the opportunity to source much needed services we would have otherwise struggled to pay for. I hope all business on the coast that are currently finding it tough are able to make the most of this fantastic resource. I’m sure Ian will be more than happy to offer assistance as to how the funding can best be used to suit your business."

West Coast businesses impacted by COVID-19 looking to access advisory funding should first register their business on the RBP network. If you have already done this, contact DWC for more information.


2020 08 18 Porkys townchip

51 percent increase in domestic visitors over winter holidays.

New data comparing domestic visitor numbers from this year’s winter school holidays to last year’s shows the West Coast enjoying a boost of 50.7%.

A report from Data Ventures commissioned by Tourism New Zealand shows Kaikoura had the biggest increase at 56.2%, followed by the West Coast 50.7%, Fiordland 46.5% and Marlborough 43.9%.

14,010 tourists visited the West Coast during the winter school holidays, compared to 9,300 the year before - an increase of 4,710 visitors.

Additional data from MBIE / Marketview-Paymark shows accommodation spend on the West Coast was up 47.9% for the week ended 16 July compared to the previous year, and total retail spend up 20.6%.

DWC Regional Tourism Manager Jim Little says the data confirms anecdotal feedback.

“Having recently been to Karamea, Charleston, Westport, Reefton and Franz Josef the feedback has been that many operators have experienced one of the best winter holidays on record.

“However, we expect it to slow down a bit until the next school holidays. DWC has a major campaign planned to stimulate demand."