The pool of leaders on the West Coast has had another boost with the graduation of DWC’s Governance Programme.

The four session programme was run by Richard Westlake and Vaughan Renner from Westlake Governance, with sessions held in Hokitika, Westport and Greymouth.

The graduation ceremony at Speights Ale House in Greymouth was attended by Buller District Mayor Jamie Cleine and DWC chair Renee Rooney who are both alumni of the West Coast Leadership and Governance programme.

Ms Rooney said: "Not only have these participants made an investment in themselves through their own professional development, they have also made an investment in the future success of our West Coast Region through the learnings and the contribution they will bring to any boardroom, organisation or leadership position they are involved in."

DWC also hosted a community governance workshop this month in Westport. This full-day workshop facilitated by Westlake Governance was targeted towards community organisations looking to improve their governance capabilities.

2020 11 24 WC Governance Programme

From left: Renee Rooney (DWC Chair), Richard Westlake (Westlake Governance), Anna-Marie Thompson (Agfest West Coast), Heath Milne (DWC), Anita Halsall-Quinlan (WCDHB - sponsored by Buller Electricity), Matt Kunzmann (DOC), Melanie Anderson (Destination Westland), Casey Scanlon (Mitre10 Westport), Nicole Kunzmann (DOC), Stuart Brown (DWC), Jenny Keogan (Westland District Council), Vaughan Renner (Westlake Governance) and Buller District Mayor Jamie Cleine.

The West Coast economy is showing signs of bouncing back after taking a substantial hit during the COVID lockdown, but the path ahead remains uncertain.

According to the latest data from Infometrics, economic activity on the Coast for the September 2020 quarter was down just 0.4% compared to September 2019. The nation as a whole saw a decline of 3.2%.

The economic impact of COVID has been felt in vastly different ways across the region. Comparing the September 2020 quarter versus the September 2019 quarter, Buller District had the highest growth rate in New Zealand at 7.9%, while Grey District saw a decline of 3.6%. Westland District, which has been particularly hard hit by the loss of international visitors, experienced a 5.6% decrease in GDP.

A resurgence in domestic tourism has benefited the West Coast to a degree, particularly in Buller. MBIE’s regional tourism spending estimates show that domestic visitor spending on the West Coast was up by 54% ($26m) in the September quarter compared to last year. This nearly offset the loss of international visitors, who spent $27m in the region during the September 2019 quarter.

While it has been promising to see the West Coast lead New Zealand in growth for domestic visitor spend, we remain very cautious about the upcoming summer season.

International visitors spent $72m in the December 2019 quarter and $119m in the March 2019 quarter, so even if the extra domestic spend is sustained throughout summer, it will unlikely replace international visitor spending.

Our tourism team remains committed to driving visitor demand and will be running an extensive domestic campaign starting next week through to February.

For the year to September 2020, the number of Jobseeker support recipients has continued to rise, with an additional 408 recipients on the West Coast over the past year. This is a 17.7% increase, below the national rate of 27.3%.

While the number of Jobseeker support recipients is starting to fall, we cannot become complacent as the full extent of the economic shock of COVID is still to play out. It is vital we continue to support one another and leverage available opportunities.

We encourage any businesses impacted by COVID to contact the team at DWC, and for businesses to tap into the different employment and training initiatives that are currently available such as DWC’s Upskill programme, the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, MSD’s Mana in Mahi and MBIE’s Regional Apprenticeships Initiative.

At DWC we are continuing to look at wider opportunities for the region. Alongside the West Coast Regional Council, Department of Conservation and Iwi, we have formed the Kotahitanga kit e Uru Regional Alliance.

The Alliance has been established to initiate, support and drive West Coast initiatives and secure central government funding to support the economic recovery and mitigate the social and economic impacts of COVID.

Heath Milne | DWC Chief Executive

2020 11 24 GPD graph

DWC is bringing community governance training to the West Coast.

This one-day introductory community governance workshop is facilitated by Richard Westlake and Vaughan Renner of Westlake Governance and is designed for not-for-profit and community organisations.

DWC Programme Coordinator Rachel Doolan says the workshop is ideal for any community organisation, including sporting, cultural and business organisations, looking to improve their governance capabilities.

“Attending the programme will help you understand the key roles and responsibilities of the board and individual directors. You will learn about board relationships, good processes and decision making, and the important elements for operating an effective board.

“Richard and Vaughan will also discuss the pressures and conflicts that arise when governing in a small community.”

Topics Covered:
• What governance is (and isn’t)
• The role of the board and management (often the same people)
• Getting to good decisions - boardroom behaviour and dynamics
• The board and finance
• The board’s role in strategy
• The board’s role in identifying and overseeing risk
• Stakeholder influence and communication.

Date: 6 November 2020
Venue: Westport Bridge Club
Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
Cost: $250+GST

As a result of the Strategic Tourism Asset Protection Fund, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has funded two new positions at DWC.

Destination Development Manager – Patrick Dault.

Patrick joined DWC on Monday 12 October bringing with him a wealth of both commercial and tourism experience.

This position will consider long-term sustainability, visitor demands and a coordinated management of all elements that make up a destination, these include placing a priority on social license, sustainability and carbon impacts, the provision of visitor infrastructure, attracting and managing investment into attractions, amenities, access, marketing and pricing.

MICE (Meetings Incentives, Conferences and Events) Executive – Louise Woodburn.

Louise joined DWC just over a month ago and has been out and about meeting businesses and operators on the Coast and promoting the opportunities that we have here to various Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs) around New Zealand.

She is working directly with key decision makers from corporates to PCOs, and marketing the West Coast region to domestic conference delegates, corporates, sporting organisations and the general population.

Both of these positions complement the economic development function at DWC, which includes the Capability and Growth team, Regional Tourism team and Research and Innovation.

Following the overwhelming positive feedback from the recent South Westland wellbeing workshop, DWC will be hosting another event on 4 November.

The full-day workshop facilitated by Hannah Fitzgibbon (Hannah Fitzgibbon Facilitation) and Astiana Trouland (Hauora Coaching) will be held at Shantytown.

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.

Kimmy Nolan from HeliServices.NZ attended the previous workshop in Fox Glacier saying: “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.”

"If it’s a course that you’re thinking about, I highly recommend that you go along, you won’t be disappointed.”

2020 10 12 Wellbeing Workshop

Attendees at the recent Wellbeing Workshop help in South Westland.