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