Coasters share views on economic development

21 June 2021
Development West Coast
According to a recent public survey, adding value to the agricultural/food sector is viewed as the most significant opportunity for improving prosperity on the West Coast, while retaining talented people is seen as the most pressing challenge for the region.

Economic Development Survey

Development West Coast (DWC) is currently facilitating a review of the West Coast’s economic strategy. To ensure there is a well-represented view of the region, the public has been asked to share their views on economic development.

361 residents, of all ages and backgrounds, contributed through an online survey.

The insights from the survey along with stakeholder workshops will play a key role in creating a vision for the economy and the long-term future we want to create and the issues that need to be resolved to get there.

The views shared will also help establish key actionable priorities for the West Coast to develop as a prosperous resilient region.

"It is important that we ensure, as West Coasters, we have the resources and support required to meet future challenges and opportunities, enjoy prosperity, and make a sustainable contribution to New Zealand, while maintaining our unique lifestyle," said DWC Chief Executive Heath Milne.

Survey results

Most important areas of economic development:

1 = least important, 5 = most important

Graph ED.JPG

Most significant opportunities for improving prosperity in next 30 years:

  • Adding value to agricultural/food sector: 47%
  • Education and training on the West Coast: 43%
  • Accessing traditional mineral resources: 40%
  • Adding value to tourism: 38%
  • Developing the digital economy and e-commerce: 36%
  • Leveraging the natural environment: 34%
  • Commercial access to Stewardship Land: 31%

Most pressing challenges in next 5 years:

  • Retaining talented people: 70%
  • Housing availability: 46%
  • Ageing/reducing populating: 41%
  • Accessing investment capital: 36%
  • Physical and mental health: 36%
  • Climate change and sea level rise: 27%
  • Emissions reduction: 18%

Most pressing challenges in next 30 years:

  • Retaining talented people: 60%
  • Ageing/reducing populating: 53%
  • Climate change and sea level rise: 51%
  • Housing availability: 33%
  • Physical and mental health: 33%
  • Accessing investment capital: 27%
  • Emissions reductions: 18%

Biggest advantages of living on the West Coast:

  • Lifestyle: 89%
  • Natural environment: 80%
  • People and culture: 41%
  • Cheaper housing: 37%
  • Safety: 15%
  • Business opportunities: 12%
  • Job opportunities: 5%
  • Educational opportunities: 2%