February has arrived already, along with the brilliant spell of fine weather we’ve enjoyed in recent days.

Over the holiday break it was fantastic to see so many locals and visitors out and about enjoying all the Coast has to offer, from exploring our untamed natural wilderness to attending many brilliant events including race meetings, A&P shows, festivals, anniversary celebrations, street markets. Even some of the wet days didn’t appear to dampen too many spirits. Coasters do seem to be incredibly forgiving of our wet weather once the sun comes back out and stays for a while.

Coasters are also incredibly passionate about their Region. The recently released Climate Change Commission Report will no doubt bring this passion to the fore. The large document will create much discussion and hearty debate amongst us all, with views from varying ends of the spectrum. We must remember this document is a draft. The consultation period is open until 14 March, and there is opportunity to provide feedback by way of submission. This feedback will be considered with final advice presented to the government by 31 May. Whatever the outcome, it’s crucial we have a clear roadmap, with workable implementation plans, that are supported by science, and funding, to help us navigate our way as we adapt and transition.

2021 has started with much activity and the year is shaping up to be another one of many challenges. Or continuing challenges, as is the case for tourism businesses in Glacier Country. This spectacular part of the West Coast has been luring visitors from near and afar for many, many years. The glaciers, such incredible natural wonders, a drawcard for NZ, making this area a significant contributor to our economy. It’s a special area, and these are special circumstances, so hopefully some extra support is available for the Glacier Country community soon.

Next week DWC has its first Trustee meeting of the year and we’re delighted to now have eight Trustees around the table, with the appointment of Brent Ford as the Independent Finance, Audit & Risk Trustee. Brent is very familiar with the Trust as well as the challenges and opportunities the West Coast faces.

We also welcome Eric de Boer on an internship, recipient of the Institute of Directors’ First Steps in Governance Award. Eric’s enthusiasm and appreciation of the Coast will be a great asset.

March will mark one-year since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. Looking at what is happening elsewhere in the world, there is still no better place to be than here in NZ, especially here on the West Coast.