One of New Zealand’s largest eggplant operations is going from strength to strength in Harihari and is proving the value of working with DWC.

Westland Produce was one of many businesses receiving financial support through the District Economic Stimulus Fund, which was set up in August 2015 in response to the economic challenges facing the West Coast region. Businesses applied for funding via the three West Coast district councils, which each have up to $1m to distribute. The fund closed this year after assisting 15 projects in Buller, 2 in Grey and 6 in Westland.

Westland Produce is one of those which has worked hard to capitalise on the initial support and is seeing significant success. The small company now employs seven full time staff, and works with a Christchurch company to distribute its harvest.

DWC chief executive Chris Mackenzie says he has been watching the positive publicity about Westland Produce recently and is glad to see the benefits of the funding in action. “Being able to help and support a business while it finds its own feet was the point of this fund and I am always pleased to see business owners use a boost but then take the ball and really run with it to make their own success.”