The Tai Poutini West Coast Regional Growth Study, released in September 2016, was commissioned in response to challenging economic conditions on the West Coast in the last few years. The Study identified that the region has several assets that will support stronger employment and income growth into the future. These included its resourceful people, spectacular natural assets and abundant resources.
The Tai Poutini West Coast Economic Development Action Plan sets out how these opportunities are to be executed. The Action Plan provides clarity to delivery partners and the community about what is to be delivered, when actions are to be delivered, and who is responsible and involved.
Download a copy of the Action Plan below:
West Coast Economic Development Action Plan 2017 (PDF, 4MB)
Planning begins to implement Regional Growth Study Action Plan
Development West Coast has this month begun preparing for the consultation to be undertaken with the various organisations where their economic development and tourism functions are proposed to be brought into DWC in order to implement the West Coast Economic Development Action Plan.
The Action Plan is the second phase in the Government’s Regional Growth Programme which last year identified several major areas of opportunity for the West Coast.
DWC Chief Executive Chris Mackenzie says the action plan will enable DWC to lead a new era for the region’s economic development. “The study recognised that the geography of the West Coast created a fractured approach to economic development, and to truly connect businesses and the tourism industry for a collective regional growth required a single unit to have the oversight on the strategic direction for the region,” he said.
“The Regional Growth Study Governance Group has identified 16 Priority Actions and our Trustees are enthusiastic about the direction this will take our region. We will be working with that group to implement the recommendations as quickly as is possible.”
Those priority areas include capturing greater value from visitor growth, enhancing connectivity and resilience with more investment in roading, ultra-fast broadband and cellular phone coverage, and encouraging investment in primary sectors. There will also be a new emphasis on cultivating the development of niche sectors, including the digital economy, indigenous wood processing, horticulture, food & beverage and white baiting.
Mr Mackenzie says DWC will have the overall responsibility for implementation and delivery of the Action Plan through its collaboration with the lead agency for each initiative.
“To oversee this new responsibility, a new Regional Economic Development Unit within DWC is proposed to absorb the activities of DWC’s current Business Development Unit, along with the West Coast Regional Economic Development Manager functions and tourism. This will aim to provide more effective support for West Coast sectors and businesses as they advance new opportunities for the greater good of the region. Tourism in particular will benefit from a far more co-ordinated approach between the tourism, economic development and infrastructure sectors, and we should all be excited about the prospects this will open up for tourism across the region,” he says.
“The Growth Study has identified not just the gaps in our ability to grow the West Coast’s economy in the way we most want to, but has also set out some very clear objectives and areas that will give us a new strategic direction. This study has the real teeth that have been needed to make a significant change and enable the potential of our economic growth to be realised.
The transition into the new arrangements are anticipated to be completed by April 2018.