Development West Coast Chief Executive Heath Milne welcomes the Government’s $12.1 billion relief package for the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The COVID-19 travel restrictions to Aotearoa New Zealand are already hurting tourist operators on the Coast, with more and more cancellations coming through. This is all on the back of recent major events like the Waiho Bridge washout, Omoto slip and the closure of SH6 in December,” Mr Milne says.

Tourism is one of the West Coast’s main economic drivers, contributing around 15% of the region's Gross Domestic Product and employing 3,657 West Coasters – around 23% of our workforce.

“Tourism operators have been some of the first to be impacted by COVID-19, but it is also important to remember they are not the only businesses to be affected,” Mr Milne says.

“The Government has acted decisively with the $12.1b COVID-19 relief package. It’s great to see an initial support package that will quickly get funds where they are needed to protect jobs. The 12 week’s support will provide businesses with some much-needed breathing space.”

The $5.1b wage subsidy scheme will pay employers up to $150,000 per business over the next 12 weeks to keep employees on, if they can demonstrate a 30% decline in revenue for any month between January and June when compared to 2019.

“We are working closely with the Ministry of Social Development and local businesses who have been affected by extreme events in 2019, like the Waiho Bridge washout. We need to ensure they are not adversely affected by any of the current criteria. We hope to have further clarification around this soon.

“The outbreak is having a significant impact on our local economy – we are in for a long hard road. Once the immediate public health issues are over, we need to be prepared for the recovery. DWC and West Coast businesses will start to plan for this as soon as the immediate threat passes.

“We recommend any business looking for advice on what support is available to contact DWC. We are here to help you during this challenging time. We are also here to advocate for West Coast businesses.

“To ensure we are well-informed on how the COVID-19 situation is impacting West Coast businesses we are also conducting a short survey. The survey will take less than 5 minutes to complete and will enable us to provide an evidence-based view to Government so that appropriate responses can be organised and delivered.

Complete the survey online at:

Contact DWC on 0800 768 0140 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COVID-19 resources for West Coast businesses

Media Release: 18 March 2020

Cornona virus assistance

As the situation with COVID-19 develops, we’re committed to helping keep our business community informed and provide support where possible. This webpage aims to provide a comprehensive set of resources to help West Coast businesses navigate through this COVID-19 crisis.

If you need any assistance or clarification on how to access support, or would like to talk with one of DWC’s Capability and Growth Advisors, we are here to help.

Contact Development West Coast on:
Ph: 0800 768 0140
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Doing business during COVID-19.


COVID-19 business support.


Free webinars.

2020 03 04 Chief Executives Report

I’ve just ended my second month at DWC and it’s been pretty hectic. A lot of my time so far has been spent meeting with various stakeholders and getting to know the people in our organisation. As expected, I’ve encountered a wide range of views. The most abundant feeling I’ve seen though is enthusiasm.

I’d like to thank all those who took part in our recent customer service survey, which again provided a wide range of views. Your feedback is extremely valuable and will be taken into account as we look to reset DWC for the future. As part of that we have started the recruitment process for an Economic Development Manager, which you may have seen advertised. I recently spoke at business breakfasts in Hokitika, Greymouth and a lunch in Westport. This was a good opportunity to meet more local businesspeople. It was great to see close to 100 people attend across the events.

I was asked to speak about the future of DWC, but I also gave some thoughts about where the West Coast is heading. As I see it, West Coast businesses need to back themselves more. What I mean by that is to look outside of the Coast and invest in innovation. In the last five years, only one new patent has been granted on the West Coast. To me, we may be in danger of being left behind.

One thing is for sure, the Coast will look vastly different in ten years time. We need to start thinking about what that means now so we can plan. The objective needs to be to influence the future, rather than let it happen to us.

Heath Milne | Chief Executive

Expressions of Interest

We're looking for expressions of interest in a one day workshop on an introduction to governance. 

This one day workshop will be faciliated by DWC and delivered by the New Zealand Institute of Management and Leadership. 

The governance module will explore the legal requirements of directors and the role of a Board. It will expose you to the responsibility of a director and the benefits of good governance, building your confidence and competency around the Board table.

Topics covered:
– Role of a Board
– Reporting, how and why robust discussion is the foundation of good decision making at a Board level
– Preparation and review for meetings, how to read and understand a board deck
– Law and legal obligations of Directors in NZ
– Defining the purpose of the Board and your role within the Board
– Ethics and social responsibility

If you are interested in this workshop, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Logic photo

Urban Street Furniture.

Logic Street Scene is one of the many West Coast businesses who have benefited from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) management capability development vouchers through DWC.

The Westport-based family business specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of high-quality Urban Street Furniture, specialising in bespoke and custom projects.

Logic Street Scene’s urban furniture is popping up in public spaces across the Coast and New Zealand - from unique parklets in Dunedin, a 65-metre curved timber bench at Jellie Park in Christchurch to bespoke park benches in Auckland.

One of the keys to Logic Street Scene’s success, in addition to their innovative products, has been their willingness to invest in their staff. Over the years, Logic Street Scene has utilised the Regional Business Partner (RBP) network through DWC to help build capabilities within their organisation.

Most recently they received a NZTE capability development voucher to help put one of their staff members through a 12-month advanced business management programme delivered by the Universal Business Team.

DWC business development manager Fiona Hill looks after the RBP programme for the West Coast.

“As a Regional Partner, DWC offers an assessment service to help prioritise the training and development needs of business owners, managers and key personnel,” she says.

“If you have aspirations to grow your business, you may be eligible for an NZTE capability development voucher.”

These vouchers can co-fund up to 50% of the cost of management training offered by registered providers, for up to a maximum of $5,000 per year per business.

Logic Street Scene’s managing director George Field says many people are unaware of the business support services available on the West Coast.

“We highly recommend other Coast businesses tap into the many forms of assistance available through DWC. Fiona has been excellent to work with, providing us with access to resources to assist our growth and innovation,” says George.


Learn more about Logic Street Scene:


 George Field Logic Street Scene

Photos by Jules Anderson Photography