Development West Coast(DWC) was set up as a Charitable Trust in 2001 to manage, invest and distribute income from a fund of $92 million received from the Government.

This fund was an adjustment package for the loss of indigenous forestry and the privatisation of much infrastructure on the West Coast in the late 1990s.

DWC is governed by a Deed of Trust which specifies DWC's Objects - to promote sustainable employment opportunities; and generate sustainable economic benefits for the West Coast, both now and into the future.

A Board of seven Trustees govern DWC and they are supported by an Advisory Body who assist them on matters around the commercial finance function, and Investment Advisors who assist them on the management of the Fund. A staff of ten carry out the day to day functions of the Trust.

Achieving our Objects

Since inception, DWC has been involved in, invested and supported numerous projects and businesses throughout the West Coast in an endeavour to promote employment and generate sustainable economic benefits in the West Coast.

DWC's support falls into three main areas – business support/assistance, commercial finance and community. Highlights of this support to date include:


  • Investing over $2 million into the Tourism Major Regional Initiative (MRI) programme.
  • Committing over $22 million (over $6 million to each of the West Coast District Councils) for the Major District Initiative (MDI) Programme.
  • Committing a $6 million ($2 million each to the Buller, Grey and Westland District Councils) Extraordinary Distribution Fund (EDF).
  • Providing $1.5 million ($750,000 each to the Buller and Westland District Councils) for two cycleway projects.

See the Community section for more information on these and other projects.

Business Support/Assistance

  • DWC provides a range of assistance and support to the business sector, including:Facilitating business mentoring
  • Facilitating training opportunities and programmes
  • Facilitating business networking events
  • Sourcing information on relevant topics for local businesses

See the Business section for more information on these services.

Commercial Finance

DWC has invested in numerous commercial businesses through loans and equity investment up and down the West Coast. DWC has supported a diverse range of businesses, including timber, adventure tourism, retail, horticulture and accommodation.

See the Commercial Finance section for more information on this function.


What we are in the ‘Business of Doing’

To promote sustainable employment opportunities and/or generate sustainable economic benefits for the West Coast region.


The Key Objective to be Accomplished

To create a commercial environment that supports and encourages business and commerce to thrive.


Our Aspiration

To be recognised as the lead organisation for regional development.

What our Strategic Priorities mean for DWC

Priority 1: Financial Sustainability of the Trust Fund

Providing for the successful management of the Trust Fund to ensure Trustees of the day have the opportunity to invest (Investments & Distributions) in initiatives that achieve the objects of the Deed of Trust.

Priority 2: Prudent Commercial Distributions

Making sound commercial Distributions which promote sustainable employment opportunities and generate sustainable economic benefits.

Priority 3: Building Commercial Capability and Leadership

Supporting the economic transformation of the West Coast region through building commercial capability and leadership for West Coast businesses and business people.

Priority 4: Innovation / Research and Development

Investing in research & development to identify, diversify and develop industries and businesses, and add value to businesses on the West Coast.

Priority 5: Improving Profile and Visibility - DWC & the Region

Improving the profile and visibility of DWC and for it to be recognised as a key influencer and partner in the development of the West Coast region. In doing so, the West Coast will be recognised as a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy and a region where commerce and business is supported and can prosper.

DWC will achieve its Strategic Priorities by being

A Leader:

Leading by example, being professional, maintaining integrity, being courageous in pursuing its core purpose and intent.

A Facilitator:

Bringing people and organisations together for a common purpose and providing support to achieve alignment in the interests of those DWC represents.

An Influencer:

Drawing on connections, networks and relationships to assist others. An Enabler: Assisting and supporting the achievement of positive outcomes.

A Catalyst:

Precipitating and enhancing change.

An Advocate:

Presenting the best case possible for the West Coast region, its businesses and communities.

An Investor:

Providing finance in pursuit of promoting sustainable employment opportunities and generating sustainable economic benefits.

A Communicator:

Effective internal and external communication to ensure consistent messaging to enhance profile, visibility and understanding of DWC.