As a result of the Strategic Tourism Asset Protection Fund, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has funded two new positions at DWC.

Destination Development Manager – Patrick Dault.

Patrick joined DWC on Monday 12 October bringing with him a wealth of both commercial and tourism experience.

This position will consider long-term sustainability, visitor demands and a coordinated management of all elements that make up a destination, these include placing a priority on social license, sustainability and carbon impacts, the provision of visitor infrastructure, attracting and managing investment into attractions, amenities, access, marketing and pricing.

MICE (Meetings Incentives, Conferences and Events) Executive – Louise Woodburn.

Louise joined DWC just over a month ago and has been out and about meeting businesses and operators on the Coast and promoting the opportunities that we have here to various Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs) around New Zealand.

She is working directly with key decision makers from corporates to PCOs, and marketing the West Coast region to domestic conference delegates, corporates, sporting organisations and the general population.

Both of these positions complement the economic development function at DWC, which includes the Capability and Growth team, Regional Tourism team and Research and Innovation.

DWC is bringing community governance training to the West Coast.

This one-day introductory community governance workshop is facilitated by Richard Westlake and Vaughan Renner of Westlake Governance and is designed for not-for-profit and community organisations.

DWC Programme Coordinator Rachel Doolan says the workshop is ideal for any community organisation, including sporting, cultural and business organisations, looking to improve their governance capabilities.

“Attending the programme will help you understand the key roles and responsibilities of the board and individual directors. You will learn about board relationships, good processes and decision making, and the important elements for operating an effective board.

“Richard and Vaughan will also discuss the pressures and conflicts that arise when governing in a small community.”

Topics Covered:
• What governance is (and isn’t)
• The role of the board and management (often the same people)
• Getting to good decisions - boardroom behaviour and dynamics
• The board and finance
• The board’s role in strategy
• The board’s role in identifying and overseeing risk
• Stakeholder influence and communication.

Date: 6 November 2020
Venue: Westport Bridge Club
Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
Cost: $250+GST

For the past month DWC has had a roving Wikipedian working on the Coast to improve the region’s profile in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

“Wikipedia is increasingly the first port of call for those looking up facts or planning travel. Wikipedia has over six million articles in English, but the volunteer community in New Zealand is quite small so our coverage is often second-rate,” says Dr Mike Dickison.

Recent research has shown that improving an area's presence in Wikipedia can increase tourist stays by 9%, so it is in everyone's interest for the West Coast to have good accurate information and photos available.

Dr Dickison, who previously spent a year as NZ Wikipedian at Large, has spent four weeks working in Westport, Greymouth, and Hokitika, and is about to spend a fortnight in the Glacier Country. He has given presentations for tourism operators explaining what they can and can't do with Wikipedia, and run workshops for heritage organisations like Hokitika Museum and History House to help them make their photo collections available under an open licence. Dr Dickison has also run public Wikipedia trainings to build a base of local volunteers who can keep working on articles independently.

The project has been helped by over a dozen volunteers all over New Zealand and Australia working remotely on West Coast topics. Every day they report on their progress, and every week get a virtual "Postcard from the Coast" in their inbox with ideas and tasks for the weeks to come. The volunteers have created numerous West Coast articles, including articles on the Hokitika Gorge, Hokitika Museum, the Rūnunga Miners' Hall, and Ōkārito Lagoon. An article about the Hokitika Town Clock was featured on Wikipedia's home page for a day attracting thousands of readers.

A major part of the project has been trying to make a good photo gallery available for every West Coast place, person, or institution covered in Wikipedia. The Wikipedian at Large has been taking photographs of every historic building, and working with professional photographers who have generously donated some of their work to the public domain. Stewart Nimmo, Jase Blair, and Charlie Bruning have all supplied photos, and over 725 have been added to the free photo library Wikimedia Commons so far.

Over the next two weeks, the project will improve coverage of the Glacier Country, with Dr Dickison then heading to Reefton.

2020 10 12 Wikipedian at Large 2

Participants of the Editing Wikipedia workshop help recently in Hokitika.

Following the overwhelming positive feedback from the recent South Westland wellbeing workshop, DWC will be hosting another event on 4 November.

The full-day workshop facilitated by Hannah Fitzgibbon (Hannah Fitzgibbon Facilitation) and Astiana Trouland (Hauora Coaching) will be held at Shantytown.

DWC Capability and Growth Advisor Ian Johnson said the workshop demonstrated that we need to be more forward in looking after ourselves and bringing our communities closer in times of doubt and crisis.

Kimmy Nolan from HeliServices.NZ attended the previous workshop in Fox Glacier saying: “It was brilliant. It actually made me stop and have a moment of time to myself. It made me appreciate more of what I do with myself, and it was really enjoyable.”

"If it’s a course that you’re thinking about, I highly recommend that you go along, you won’t be disappointed.”

2020 10 12 Wellbeing Workshop

Attendees at the recent Wellbeing Workshop help in South Westland. 

Showcasing West Coast food & beverages.

November will see a celebration of West Coast food and beverages, with the DWC led event Naturally West Coast Food 2020.

The month-long event will showcase gastronomic delights created with the region’s finest food and beverages. Participating restaurants and cafés will offer a signature dish using a key ingredient sourced locally. This could be anything from West Coast wild game, whitebait, fresh produce to salmon from South Westland.

DWC Chief Executive Heath Milne says: "with the dishes all featuring some of our best produce and ingredients, November is set to raise awareness of the Coast as a place for foodies.”

“Our region produces some of New Zealand’s top food. We have award-winning bacon from Harihari and salami from Blackball. Westgold is recognised as the country’s best butter, beer brewed here is the best in the world, and Reefton Distilling Co. is winning award after award on both the national and international stage.

“As a region we have a lot to celebrate about our food and beverage sector. We look forward to seeing the innovative dishes our local chefs come up with.”

Mr Milne is calling on the community to get involved and enjoy the delicious array of dishes that will be on offer.

“With Naturally West Coast Food we are also reaching out to the rest of the country, inviting them to come and enjoy some amazing cuisine. Our untamed natural wilderness is the perfect environment to produce healthy, sustainable food."

The DWC run event will be supported by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, Monteith’s and NZME. It will be part of a big regional marketing drive by DWC aligned with Tourism New Zealand’s national marketing push throughout the month of November.

Enjoy the West Coast, a Foodies Paradise!

Restaurants and cafés wishing to participate can contact DWC for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Naturally West Coast Food 2020 logo