Development West Coast’s objectives are to promote employment opportunities and generate sustainable economic benefits for the West Coast region.

DWC aims to achieve this by investing in businesses and regional development projects that will benefit the West Coast region now and in the future.

DWC provides and facilitates a range of innovative business support initiatives and services for businesses on the West Coast and a substantial part of its business is providing support to businesses throughout the region.

DWC aim to make a difference to the economic wealth of the people of the West Coast by creating a better business environment, inspiring businesses to grow and providing the tools required to do it better.


Businesses looking for a helping hand with new ventures are encouraged to approach Development West Coast as a first point of contact, says the organisation’s new Business Services Manager, Fiona Hill.

Fiona has recently taken on the role and is looking forward to working with organisations that have ideas about growing their business but may not know how to progress them. “In particular I’m keen to talk to businesses that are open to seeking support from either DWC or another external organisation,” Fiona says.

“Often taking the first step is the hardest but DWC is here to help as a sounding board. I’m keen to make sure local businesses know there is support and guidance on hand, even if it is just to have an initial conversation about an idea.” 

As the Business Services Manager, Fiona looks after the Regional Business Partner Programme for the West Coast Region. This is a funding network that opens businesses up to assistance through New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and Callaghan Innovation, as well as support from the Business Mentors New Zealand Mentoring Programme.

Linking West Coast businesses with this support is one of the many services DWC offers, with an aim of providing local industry with as much opportunity as possible.

Fiona is no stranger to the challenge of owning a small to medium business on the West Coast, and she says her own business experience has been an excellent training ground for understanding business needs in our communities.

“I am excited by the opportunity my new role gives me to support and help facilitate local businesses to build capability, grow and achieve their strategic goals.”

To contact Fiona Hill call 03 769 7023 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(Media Article - August 2016)

Regional Business Partner Network

DWC was confirmed as the West Coast’s Regional Business Partner (RBP) in December 2015, entering into a new 5 year contract for services.

The RBP Programme is a key Government service administered by New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and Callaghan Innovation. The programme supports businesses to grow and innovate, providing business development and innovation advisory services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and High Value Manufacturing and Services businesses in all 15 regions throughout New Zealand.

The Programme provides access to business and innovation support; capabability vouchers and Getting Started R&D Grants; innovation advice and funding services and, an enhancement to the programme, business mentoring services in association with Business Mentors New Zealand.

In the 2016 financial year, DWC issued NZTE Capability Development Vouchers to the value of $31,000 to businesses to access training, covering topics including sales & marketing, governance, project management, strategy, business finance and leadership. DWC actively engaged with over 140 Regional Business Partner clients, and 17 businesses utilised Business Mentor services.


Our business support team is continuously developing and expanding the DWC “Business Toolbox” which provides access to:

  • Mentoring
  • Workshops
  • Training
  • Seminars and Networking Events

To complement the Business Toolbox, DWC also partners with a number of organisations, including New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and New Zealand Institute of Management Southern.  Partnering with these organisations provides additional support opportunities to our businesses through enabling access to a greater range of information, support and funding.  Toolbox Pamphlet

West Coast Leading Light

Business Excellence Awards THE 2015 West Coast Leading Light Business Excellence Awards were held in May with Holcim Cement Westport Works taking out the supreme Greymouth Star Super Nova Award.

The 2016 event will be held at Shantytown on 14 October. There are five categories; Large Enterprise 25+ FTEs, Medium Enterprise 10+ FTEs, Small Enterprise under 10 FTEs, Tourism & Hospitality and Not For Profit.

As in previous years, there will also be the ACC Workplace Safety Award and DOC Environment Award which businesses can select to be considered for at the time of completing their entry.

Click here to visit the West Coast Leading Light Website