Development West Coast is bringing governance training to the West Coast business community. The West Coast Governance Programme, facilitated by Richard Westlake and Vaughan Renner of Westlake Governance, will commence in August 2020, and consists of four workshops which will help participants understand the key roles and responsibilities of the board and individual directors.

This series of four one-day workshops is designed for new and aspiring board members, and for those who work directly with a board - whether in a medium sized business, a national co-operative or a small community organisation, school Board of Trustees, or a local government body.

Who should attend?

• For those already on boards or Councils, you will understand the difference between governance and management, and what your governance role really involves: what are your responsibilities, what information do you need, how do you make great decisions, and how do you help your chief executive succeed? For you, this programme may be a valuable refresher, helping you to fill in some gaps; or it may be the first formal training you’ve done for your role.
• For those who are preparing to join a board in the future, you will understand what it means to be a director or board member, what skills and time commitment you'll need, and what attributes you can bring to your new role to add real value in the boardroom.
• For those reporting to and working with boards, you will understand why governance matters, what information board members need, and why it’s ok when they ask difficult questions.

Introduction to Governance, the Board and its Role
Date: Wednesday, 12 August
Time: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Location: Westport

Working with the Chief Executive, and the Board's role in Finance
Date: Thursday, 3 September
Time: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Location: Hokitika

Governing Strategy and Risk
Date: Thursday, 1 October
Time: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Location: Westport

Boardroom Dynamics
Date: Thursday, 5 November
Time: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Location: Greymouth

Cost: $2000 (+ GST) per participant - to see if you are eligible for NZTE business capability funding visit or contact Fiona Hill – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Please note: maximum of 16 participants.


Richard Westlake and Vaughan Renner are experienced chairs and board members and have presented governance workshops together for about ten years. Over several years they co-facilitated the Governance component of the West Coast Leadership & Governance Programme, from which many participants have gone on to significant governance and leadership roles, in the West Coast community and elsewhere.

Richard Westlake:

Richard has more than 25 years’ experience as a director and board chair, in a wide variety of organisations. He is currently chair of New Zealand Home Loans Ltd, and recently completed nine years as the first independent director of the Dairy Goat Co-operative and six years as the only non-Asian director of one of the largest banks in the Philippines. Over the last 15 years, Richard has trained probably more directors than anyone else in New Zealand.

He also writes perhaps the only blog written especially for board chairs and experienced directors, at

Vaughan Renner:

Vaughan trained originally as an Engineer and has been a director and board chair for about 15 years. He is a former chief executive of New Zealand’s largest tyre importer and retailer, and he currently chairs The Open Polytechnic, the board of Business New Zealand and the Standards Approval Board (a unit of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment).


Introduction to Governance, the Board and its Role

• Preview and introduction to the West Coast 2020 Governance Programme
• What governance is (and isn’t)
• The difference between managing and governing, and how to make the shift when you enter the boardroom
• The role and functions of the board
• The role and duties of individual directors
• The effective Board Chair

Working with the Chief Executive, and the Board’s role in Finance

• Re-cap and review of Session 1
• Selecting and appointing the CEO
• Working with the CEO and the Chair/CEO relationship
• Board/CEO/Management Interactions
• The Board’s role in Finance
• Understanding the main Financial Statements
• Budgets / Forecasts
• Distress and insolvency: what to look for, and what to look out for

Governing Strategy and Risk

• Re-cap and review of Session 2
• What is Strategy?
• The process and pitfalls of developing and implementing Strategy
• The Board’s role in Strategy
• Effective Board Papers
• What is Risk?
• What is Risk Governance?
• The Board’s role in Risk

Boardroom Dynamics

• Re-cap and review of Session 3
• Why it’s important to achieve balanced membership on a board
• How to prepare for and bring the greatest value to board meetings
• Understanding the value of dissent and debate in reaching quality consensus decisions
• Where to from here? Preparing your governance CV, and improving your chances for a board position
• A simulated board meeting, with board roles played by some of the participants, and feedback provided by their colleagues. (This exercise presents a real-world feel for the participants to apply what they have learned during the programme, and it has always proved to be a memorable highlight on which to conclude.)

Westlake Governance

2020 07 01 PM Training

PRINCE2 Project Management

Development West Coast (DWC) have Partnered with The Knowledge Academy to bring PRINCE2 Project Management training to the Coast.

PRINCE2 is a structured project management method and practitioner certification programme. PRINCE2 emphasises dividing projects into manageable and controllable stages.

The PRINCE2 course combines training and exams for the PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner certifications into one 5-day course. Passing the course will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to start applying PRINCE2 to real life work projects.

DWC is bringing two PRINCE2 courses to the West Coast:

  • PRINCE2 Foundation - familiarises you with the basics of the PRINCE2 method, and a PRINCE2 Foundation exam.
  • PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner - you will learn how PRINCE2 can be tailored and applied to projects, before sitting the PRINCE2 Practitoner exam.

The courses will be run over August and spaces are limited to 14 per course.

Course Cost:

  • PRINCE2 Foundation: 3 day course - $1091 + GST (per participant)
  • PRINCE2 Foundation & Practitioner course: 5 day course - $1466 + GST (per participant)

Both course costs are significantly discounted.


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Project management

Chris Fulford and Ian Johnson join DWC.

DWC’s Capability & Growth Manager Fiona Hill is also pleased to introduce two new Capability & Growth Advisors to the DWC Team – Chris Fulford and Ian Johnson.

Ian has extensive experience as a manager, CE, owner-operator and consultant in the tourism, hospitality, manufacturing, leisure and fitness industries. Ian has a passion for customer service excellence and has worked in a consultancy role with many West Coast businesses and organisations on the importance of telling compelling stories.

Chris has worked as a Group Manager of 6 large companies. He has had a stint in Latin America working with charities and NGOs, owned several businesses and has previously worked with Auckland’s Development Agency ATEED as a Business Advisor & Mentor.

We are excited to have Ian and Chris on the team and both are enthusiastic and excited by the opportunity of working alongside West Coast SMEs, providing new ideas, guidance and advice, and connecting businesses to the right business support services at the right time, including the products and services available through the Regional Business Partner Network.

If you would like one of the team to be in contact please let us know by either calling 0800 768 0140 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and one of the team will be in touch.

Ian and Chris

Good-bye job for life! Hello new opportunity!


Most of us don’t think of our jobs as a job for life – at least not anymore! In fact, British researchers say that a typical person will expect to have nine jobs, including one major career change, across 48 years of working life. That’s twice as many jobs as our grandparents and suggests that the concept of a job for life is now a goner!

We all know jobs are changing. We hear a lot about 21st century tech sector roles taking over but there are also new ‘old’ jobs that have become sought after - think distilling, craft brewing, barbering, furniture-making, upholstery and ceramics. Passions that have become jobs.

Of course we don’t always choose to change jobs. It may well be out of our control especially in times such as these, when COVID-19 is changing the working lives of so many of us in so many ways.

Who would have thought that nearly every organisation in the country could build the capability for their employees to work remotely from home in less than a week – and it’s now inevitable that some people will never return to shared workplaces. Employees will embrace working at home for a better lifestyle and employers may embrace it for better productivity and a cut in workspace costs. Nano-qualifications achieved online without ever going into a classroom nor meeting another student, and ‘zoom’ learning from home will likely become staples for re-skilling workers of all ages and capabilities. Despite it all we are, arguably, more in charge of our own working lives than ever!

But these challenging times make so many of us think about the security of our future especially when our job is under threat or even may no longer exist. And there lies the opportunity!

We could ask ourselves if a job loss is actually an opportunity to do something else, perhaps something that could increase our income, advance our career or help us achieve better work-life balance, and actually make us happier. Could a simple-to-access, online course help us add to our existing skills and prepare us for a career change whatever our age or capability? And importantly for many of us, could it keep us working and living here on the Coast that we love?

Proudly, the Coast has built up a workforce with specific skills which we want to keep in the region that we love to live, work and play in. All of you skilled workers are vital to ensure our region thrives in the future.

Given the chance, some of us might stay in the job we enjoy for our entire career but what is very real now is the fear of not having that choice and being forced out into a labour market we don’t know how to navigate.

But there are options. At this time more than ever, the West Coast needs to keep its skilled workers and there are West Coast organisations that need you!

We have skill shortages and employers who are finding it hard to get staff with the right skills for the jobs. Knowing which jobs are in skill shortage can help you choose the best job option. A great deal of work is going on behind the scenes to match new jobs with skilled workers who may be looking for a new opportunity.

At the same time, substantial Government funding is coming online in all sorts of sectors and at all skill levels. There have never been so many ways to be employed. It could mean working from home or in the great outdoors. It could even be your dream job!

Development West Coast has many connections to businesses that need the right skilled people so let them know your existing skills and what sort of job-change you are looking for.

What I know for sure is that the West Coast values its skilled workers and now is the time for them to shine more than ever!


Renee Rooney | DWC chair


Renee Rooney


Big Coast Big Deals billboard

West Coast retailers bounce back.

Recently released data shows retail spending on the West Coast is bouncing back at a higher rate than the New Zealand average.

Estimates from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), based on electronic card spending data from Marketview/Paymark, show overall spending on the West Coast is currently 108% of last year’s levels. In comparison, national retail spending is at exactly the same level it was last year.

Development West Coast (DWC) chief executive Heath Milne says: “the COVID-19 crisis has been an incredibly challenging time for our business community, so it is great to see retail spending bouncing back.”

During the Alert Level 4 lockdown, electronic card spending on the Coast was down to around 50% of last year’s levels, rising to approximately 75% during Level 3.

Milne says industries on the Coast have experienced the impact of COVID-19 in vastly different ways.

Food & Liquor spending peaked at over 150% as people stockpiled goods prior to lockdown and since then has mostly remained above last year’s levels.

Since Level 2, there has been a spike in spending on Clothing, Footwear and Department Stores and Home & Recreational Retailing. These have all experienced spending rates around 200%.

The shift to Level 2 is also seeing a recovery, albeit slower, in spending on Food & Beverage services, which currently sits at 80% of last year’s rates.

West Coast industries most dependent on Tourism (Accommodation, Arts & Recreation services, and Transport & Travel agencies) have been struggling though, with spending less than 50% of last year’s levels. However, subsequent data shows a significant spike over Queen’s birthday weekend.

“The Tourism industry on the Coast has been highly reliant on international visitors, who inject around $271m into our economy each year. That is around 54% of our total tourism spend – the highest rate of all regions in NZ,” says Milne.

“The recovery in retail spending we’re currently experiencing is largely from domestic spending, such as Coasters catching up on shopping and Kiwis starting to travel domestically again after being cooped up under lockdown.”

The MBIE data shows domestic retail spending on the West Coast currently sits at 114% of last year’s levels, while international spending is only 31% of what it was this time last year.

“Given the uncertainty of when New Zealand’s borders will reopen, international spending is unlikely to recover any time soon.”

West Coast benefits most from Queen’s Birthday.

“To attract more domestic visitors to the Coast we’ve been running a number of targeted marketing initiatives. Our ‘Big Coast – Big Deals’ campaign got off to a great start, with the West Coast outperforming the rest of New Zealand over Queen’s birthday weekend,” Milne said.

Figures from a recent report compiled by Tourism New Zealand and Stats NZ’s Data Ventures revealed domestic tourism across New Zealand increased by 75% over Queen’s Birthday, relative to average tourism at COVID-19 Level 2.

The West Coast enjoyed the biggest boost, with domestic visitor numbers increasing 94.3%. The West Coast was followed by Fiordland, up 84.6%, and Mackenzie, up 83.8%.

DWC regional tourism manager Jim Little said much of the increase on the West Coast was due to a combination of good weather, a long weekend and deal-based advertising targeted at Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin.

“The Big Coast – Big Deals campaign utilised digital billboards, press advertising and digital/social media driving customers to the ‘deals’ page on the website which saw a huge spike in site visitation,” Little said.