Renee Rooney, DWC Chair - 15 March 2019
If only we could stop the “challenge train” rolling into our region at such a fast pace, or at least by-pass our stop to give us a break.
The continuous challenges keep coming our way in all shapes and forms, including those served by Mother Nature, along with those served by the human powers that be.
And alas, Coasters are well known for their resilience. Resilient Coasters. The word resilient can be so overused, yet it sure does apply to us.
But if those from outside of our region view us as being resilient, does it mean that we will accept a challenge and just get on with it because we are “resilient”?
Without a doubt we can be resilient and resourceful in times of weather events, but when it comes to big decisions made externally that will directly impact our region and our economic viability or operating conditions, I don’t think resilient would be the right term to use.
Coasters have had their fair share of kicks in recent years – and we’re a bit bruised. Our latest kick is the Climate Change Bill announcement. And as we well know, this will have serious effect on Coast industry and many of our businesses. We knew it was coming, but the announced details are fairly confronting.
Yes, we have been transitioning from a reliance on our historic industries into developing new industries, along with adapting to change and operating our businesses with greater environmental awareness. We are doing our best to embrace change.
The fact remains however, we still need businesses to be sustainable, and yes profitable. We need thriving businesses and a positive economy to ensure our communities thrive.
The Coast is really fortunate to have so many that will champion for us. And we need to keep beating our own drum too – and occasionally up the tempo.
As a region we are proud of the many Coasters, spread New Zealand and world-wide, who fly our flag from a distance. And there are so many who have a desire to return to the Coast and “give back” in some way or another.
Just last week we were treated to a “Coaster coming home”. Julia Jones, a South Westland girl who is now Head of Analytics at NZX, shared some learnings, opinions and inspirational messages with dairy farmers at the DairyNZ Farmers Forum in Westport and a DWC business event in Hokitika.
Julia’s discussion in Hokitika reinforced that the Coast is a unique region full of opportunities, while the passionate input from the audience reassured that we have the talent and ideas on the Coast to take advantage of these opportunities.
Call it resilience, call it resourcefulness, call it whatever cliché you want. But at the end of the day, the Coast will continue to go forward and succeed despite decisions made outside of the region, because of our greatest resource – our people.
Thank you Julia for being one of our many champions.