The month of March saw DWC roll out the West Coast Ambassador programme across the region with workshops held in Greymouth, Hokitika, Westport and Franz Josef.
The nationally syndicated Ambassador Programme explores what makes our region such a unique and genuine experience for our visitors.
Presenter Ian Johnson from Sustainable Tourism and Thematic Interpretation NZ says the programme is about consistently exceeding our visitors’ expectations, enabling more intimate connections through the telling of compelling stories, and the delivery of outstanding customer service.
Stephanie attended the Franz Josef workshop saying the programme has “lots of great information about what the Coast has to offer and provides good advice on the skills to use when communicating with visitors.”
Feedback to date is unanimously telling us that “this is a programme anyone in the business of providing services to the public should attend!”
Development West Coast, through the Westland District Council, has allocated $1.5 million from the Major District Initiative fund towards the Westland Sports Hub project and will contribute a further $30,000 over three years to help with capital items, maintenance and administration of the facility.
The sporting facilities at Westland High School have long been the base for many sports codes in Hokitika and the wider district. However, the current facilities need major upgrades. The DWC Westland Sports Hub is being developed to address these issues. The project includes covering the outdoor courts, gymnasium improvements, developing a pavilion and major drainage of fields.
“The West Coast has a rich history of sporting success, but the importance of sport to our region goes far deeper than these achievements. Sport has long brought Coasters together, helping build thriving communities across our region,” said DWC chair Renee Rooney.
“We are proud to support this major upgrade of sporting facilities in Hokitika. It will be a big game changer for Westland, benefiting most sporting codes, while importantly bringing our communities closer together.”
Fundraising Chair Angela Keenan said that the fundraising efforts for the facility were still underway, and further naming sponsors were being sought for the facility.
Utopia Free Range
Buller-based business producing free-range eggs from the Untamed Natural Wilderness of the West Coast.
Consumers are opting more and more for free-range eggs. According to Consumer New Zealand, three quarters of shoppers buy cage-free eggs at least some of the time, and more than a quarter only purchase cage-free eggs.
This change in consumer behaviour is leading to an increase in demand for free-range eggs and this demand is only going to rise. Over the past few years all of New Zealand’s major supermarkets have committed to stopping the sale of caged eggs by 2027, as have a number of major food service providers and fast-food chains.
Utopia Free Range, an enterprising business in Buller, is already ahead of the curve suppling free-range eggs to the West Coast.
Hayden and Rochelle Crossman purchased their property at Utopia Road in Westport during 2011. The land was an ex-forestry block which the couple have cleared and developed over the years. Rochelle’s father Kevin decided to build a hen house on the property to keep busy throughout his retirement.
They started off with about 50 chickens supplying free-range eggs at the local market. The demand was instant so they decided to expand the business and build another two sheds. With expansion came regulation requirements, so Hayden and Rochelle approached DWC for support.
“The compliance costs we faced with developing a free-range egg business were very prohibitive. The support of DWC made our idea of supplying Coast customers with a quality product from a fully registered supplier possible,” Rochelle says.
Utopia Free Range now has around 700 hens who can roam freely within a 3.5ha secured area. The hens are housed in re-locatable sheds which are moved around the pastured paddock and always open for the birds to come and go as they please.
“The birds spend most of the day hanging outside the sheds foraging for insects and dustbathing” Hayden says.
Free hens make for happy hens, and happy hens lay the best eggs.
Facebook: Utopia Free Range
Development West Coast (DWC) chief executive Chris Mackenzie has announced he will resign from his role with DWC on 27 September, after more than three years in the role.
DWC chair Renee Rooney says Mr Mackenzie will be missed.
“Chris not only brought an immense skill-set to his role; he also brought a unique knowledge of the organisation. His involvement with DWC goes back to the very beginning as the Government Appointed Trustee of the Interim West Coast Development Trust in 2001.
“We have been fortunate to have Chris at the helm during a time of significant organisational change. He has been instrumental in improving the provision of economic development on the Coast, leaving a far more coordinated approach to the region’s economic direction and development,” says Mrs Rooney.
Mr Mackenzie said it has been “a privilege to work with the Board of Trustees, and talented colleagues who will continue driving the region forward.”
“With key stakeholders working more closely together for the development of our region, I feel DWC is in a strong position and has a great team in place to continue delivering on the Tai Poutini West Coast Economic Development Strategy”, says Mr Mackenzie
DWC will now begin the process of recruiting a new chief executive.
(14 June 2019)
Promote your business to over 100,000 visitors across New Zealand and overseas in the Official West Coast Visitor Guide.
The official West Coast Visitor Guide offers a comprehensive guide to the region and details the widest range of tourism industry products available in one visitor publication. It is the most important piece of collateral for businesses to advertise in.
Benefits to listing:
• A feature in the Official Visitor Guide. 100,000 copies are distributed to every i-Site in New Zealand, over 500 brochure racks in motels, hotels, airports, the TranzAlpine Train station, ferries and attractions.
• A web listing on westcoast.co.nz which receives 41,473 pageviews on average per month.
• If your listing includes a newsletter feature, your business will be profiled in one of our monthly visitor newsletters sent out to over 5,000 subscribers (and growing).
• If your listing includes being profiled in the Trade Manual, this is dispensed at trade events, such as TRENZ, in both digital (USB stick) and print format to over 1,000 international travel wholesalers and agents.