Development West Coast in partnership with NZME are asking for expressions of interest in a Google Specialist workshop on the Coast.

There are two parts to the Google Specialist workshop:
• Presentation
• Follow up one on one sessions

The presentation will be a broad overview of Google and its products. It would focus on what Google does and how businesses can use it to grow and develop their businesses. It would be entry/mid-level and focused on educating business owners on how best to maximise to for their success.

The follow up 45 minute one on one sessions would be more focused on each individual business. The Google specialists would overview the businesses current marketing mix and see how/if they are using Google. The specialists would then advise and recommend around working with Google and how the business can go about starting the process.

We are looking at holding this workshop in October and it will be FREE to all businesses.

The presentation and one on one sessions would be run over three consecutive days.

Please register your interest by Friday, 30th of August at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2019 08 06 NZME Logo

2019 10 Google Specialist Workshop


Renee Rooney, DWC Chair - 10 July 2019

It goes without saying that the primary industries on the West Coast are all incredibly important for our Region’s wellbeing, both economically and socially, whether it be farming, extraction, forestry, or fishing.

At the time of writing, West Coast dairy farmers were in the process of voting and preparing themselves for the outcome of one of the biggest decisions they will ever make – whether Westland Milk Products will be sold or remain as an independent farmer-owned co-operative.

Westland Co-operative Dairy Company has been part of our Region’s fabric for over 80 years, giving our farmers a real sense of pride and belonging in having ownership of something very special.

Being faced with deciding which direction to take the co-operative into the future has been confronting for many. Decisions made by individual farmer shareholders will not have been made lightly. We now await with much anticipation of any change in ownership that may occur.

But what won’t change is the beautiful untamed natural wilderness we live, work, play, and invest in – something that is envied by many from afar.

At DWC, we’re focussed and working at Growing Business to Grow the Coast. DWC helps people, businesses, and organisations to grow, either in capability or in scale.

It goes without saying that the Trust Fund is a valuable asset to our Region, and it is crucial that we are utilising, distributing, and leveraging it prudently now and into the future.

An independent review of the Trust Deed and operations of DWC is currently underway. It is essential for our Region that the Trust Deed is fit for purpose going forward. Self-reviewing for any organisation should be standard practice and seen as a positive process. The review may recommend minor tweaks or major tweaks, or both, and we will be sure to communicate any outcome with our Coast community.

It is annual report time at DWC. Looking back at the last 12 months, it’s fantastic to note how many people have engaged with DWC and its services. It is rewarding seeing this work captured and we look forward to releasing this in August.

We are in the process of recruiting for our new CEO, who will take up the reins later in the year. In the meantime, it’s business as usual with Chris Mackenzie still at the helm, and we’re all committed to having a smooth, seamless transition to avoid disruption, especially as we go through the local body election period.

The DWC team remains committed to keep the momentum going in the strategic direction we have been working hard on. Trustees are a future-focussed group with the best interests of the Region at the forefront of any decisions and strategic planning for the organisation. That said, we do acknowledge that actions speak louder than words.

2019 08 05 Operation Tidy Fox

From the desk of Helen Wilson - Research and Innovation Manager

My two days’ worth was just a drop in the ocean, or should I say the riverbed, but every little bit helps. Why did I go? Basically I couldn’t think of a good reason not to. Climbing mountains, tramping in the bush and wandering along riverbeds admiring fish has provided me with a lot of enjoyment in my life, and possibly kept me sane as well. I owe the landscape of Tai Poutini so much. I really couldn’t ignore an opportunity to return the favour.

On 26 March 2019 floodwaters from the Fox River flowed through the old dump site dragging untold amounts of rubbish down into the riverbed and out into the ocean.

You will have seen the photos. 555 rugby fields worth. I wanted to get a sense of it myself – I needed to nudge myself to do better in terms of my own footprint. And to seal the deal, I was in a position to be able to put my hand up when DWC agreed to match a personal day with a paid leave day.

Two days on a riverbed watched over by the impressive Aoraki.

The rubbish wasn’t smelly or dirty, but it wasn’t a simple case of ‘picking’ it up. The force of the flood left indestructible bread bags from thirty years ago intricately wrapped around the roots of toppled trees requiring detangling with assorted tools.

It was hard work but I was in good company, with great food, well deserved beers at the end of the day and all that goes with it. The support from the local community and businesses was outstanding.

Yes I know, I wasn’t supposed to be having fun. But I did, I really enjoyed it. It was te tangata, the people. I met young tourists paying it forward, some retired ex-Coasters from Kapiti Coast who wanted to pay it back, a whole pile of old tramping-type folk like me in our trusty boots and gaiters and an old bloke from Northland making his way to Southland to deliver a dodgy car to whanau, getting some free accommodation and food in return for some work.

Kudos to the DOC staff who have had to herd cats, feed them and keep them safe, on a riverbed for days on end.

Our region's pristine environment is so important to our way of life and our economy. It was heartwarming to see so many people working together to help restore it.


More info:

1 August 2019

"Thanks to everyone who has signed up as a volunteer on Operation Tidy Fox. Because we have had such a fantastic response, we see an end in sight of mid-August for the Operation. Because of this we are no longer signing up volunteers. Thank you all so much."

So far on the rubbish clean-up:

2,392 volunteer days worked
661 NZDF days worked, and 
543 DOC staff days worked.


2019 08 06 Helen at Fox River

DWC support has enabled the refurbishment of the Whataroa Community Hall.

The Whataroa Hall is used by the school next door throughout the week, by the badminton club, for meetings, and events including weddings and funerals. The hall was in need of a complete refurbishment and if the renovations were not undertaken it would have likely been deemed unusable leaving a significant void in the community.

To help restore the hall, the Whataroa Community Association secured Major District Initiative funding from DWC. The refurbishment included a kitchen and toilet upgrade, re-piling, re-cladding and compliance work.

"It's nearly 100 years old and the funding DWC has given will ensure the Whataroa Community Hall will be fully functional for the next 100 years. Not only will the Whataroa residents benefit from the upgrade of the hall, but the whole of the South Westland community,” says Dave Nolan from the Whataroa Community Association.

DWC business development manager Dave Lynch attended the recent opening night for the Whataroa Hall, saying: "My wife and I were warmly welcomed to the event. The impressive turnout highlighted how important the hall is to the whole community. It was attended by people of all ages, with everyone having a great night. The hall is a real asset to South Westland.”

2019 08 05 Whataroa Community Hall

Broadway before and after

Paul Thomas, joint-owner of the Broadway Tearooms, shares his insights on Reefton.

The revitalisation of Reefton has actually been a three-decade plus initiative, starting with the Reefton Community Company in the 1980s, then ‘Reefton Revival’ group in the mid 1990s that gave attention to building design and a strategic direction based on the heritage values of the town. 

ITP Reefton Promotions then took over the baton and initiated a town vision that was predominantly based on the town’s main street, Broadway, to bring back the distinctive character of the street’s heritage shop buildings, many of which reflected part of their goldfields character of the 1870s and beyond, but had been modified over time to compromise their appearance. Born from the vision was the Reefton ‘Shop Front’ project.

The idea of the Reefton Shop Front project was to emphasise Reefton’s distinctiveness; make it stand out from other towns, to engender pride from local people in their town, to create a destination town for visitors and to develop the town economically.

The revitalisation of any place is not a sprint, but a marathon. This community-led initiative has met the challenge, it has endured the marathon and produced an inspirational result. Reefton is now renowned as a thriving and vibrant town, which stands out from the crowd in New Zealand.

As a consequence of the revitalisation local people now have great pride in their place. Visitors stream in, people desire to come and live, and people are upbeat about the town’s economy. Further investment into the town is being achieved such as the recent startup Reefton Distilling Co that opened in 2018. This business initiative puts a stamp of confidence on the town and its future.

As part of the shop front project team, I would say, nothing beats community-led initiatives. The investment by DWC into Reefton through the shop front project was an innovative model, a leap of faith at the time for community-led economic development, a leap of faith at the time for the investment made, but it has created immeasurable results that have ensured the strong possibility of the town having long-term sustainability.

That is a fantastic outcome.

Broadway plan