Recently released economic indicators show growth on the West Coast for the second year in a row.

DWC Chief Executive Heath Milne says it is pleasing to see positive trends in Infometric’s latest economic update for the West Coast for the year ended March 2019.

“The Coast had been in a major economic downturn since 2012, due to the closures of the Holcim NZ Westport plant and OceanaGold, and changes in the coal mining industry. Given this context, it is great to see many of our key economic indicators showing sustained growth,” says Mr Milne.

Based on the latest data, the West Coast’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by $30m (1.6%).

There was an increase in jobs of 277 (1.4%).

Mean annual earnings grew by $3,178 to $56,758. The increase in mean annual earnings of 5.9% outpaced the national growth rate of 3.8%.

The West Coast’s population also increased by 100 to 32,600.

“It is important to note, the time period for this data doesn’t include some major events that have had a serious impact on our economy, such as the Waiho (Waiau) Bridge washout, the Omoto slip and the closure of State Highway 6 south of Hari Hari during December,” says Mr Milne.

“The impact of these extreme weather events will no doubt be reflected in next year’s regional update. Nevertheless, it is pleasing to see our economy showing growth on many fronts. This is a testament to our innovative and resilient business community and the many opportunities available on the Coast.

“At DWC, we are working hard to keep this positive momentum going by enabling the development of business and industry on the West Coast,” says Mr Milne.

The latest Infometrics data can be viewed online at


Media release: 3 February 2020