2023 wrap-up

23 December 2023
Development West Coast
As the year draws to a close, we find ourselves reflecting on the past 12 months. It's been a year of growth, challenge, and achievement for the West Coast.

The Coast economy has been ticking along nicely, adding 343 new jobs over the year to October.

It’s been a busy year for the DWC team, who have been working closely with local businesses to help build capabilities.

We have distributed over $10 million in commercial finance during 2023, in addition to our annual contributions to the West Coast Community Trust, amounting to significant investment in the region.

One of our high-profile investments this year, was $3 million in minerals, ports, and logistics company, Westland Mineral Sands (WMS) Group. WMS Group are already bringing high-paying jobs to the region. With a high-quality product and a highly capable team, we are excited to be involved and look forward to seeing the contribution they make to the West Coast economy.

Heath Milne (DWC chief executive)
Heath Milne | DWC chief executive

With international borders open again, our tourism sector has bounced back remarkably well. Visitor spending in the region is up by 11% compared to pre-Covid times. The recent opening of the Pounamu Pathway experience centre in Mawhera Greymouth will be a real game-changer for the industry. We’re pleased to be involved in this world-class project and can’t wait for the other hubs to open across the West Coast.

The Richmond Quay redevelopment and new library project, in collaboration with Grey District Council, is another initiative set to invigorate Greymouth and the wider region. It nicely complements projects like the Pounamu Pathway and Dolomite Point redevelopment, which will all enhance the Coast's appeal.

This year brought a sombre moment with the passing of Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio appointed Trustee, Barry Wilson. Barry's wisdom, integrity, and commitment to DWC and the wider community have left an enduring legacy.

I want to acknowledge and thank all the DWC staff and contractors whose hard work and dedication makes a genuine difference to the region. It's great to see their efforts recognised nationally, with the Upskill employment and training scheme winning an Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) award and our Marketing and Communications team taking home two Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) awards for their work promoting the region as a great place to live, work, and do business.

2023 Public Relations New Zealand Awards
EDNZ Awards
2023 Economic Development New Zealand Awards

We recently announced the 2024 DWC Tertiary Scholarships recipients, which is always a highlight of the year. It’s also a reminder of the exceptional talent we have here on the Coast. Looking at the recipients it’s safe to say the future of our region is in very capable hands.

Photo 2
2024 scholarship recipients

As we approach the holiday season, I extend my thanks to the West Coast community for your support and collaboration throughout the year. Merry Christmas to you all. We look forward to working with you in the New Year.

West Coast

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