Development West Coast releases 2022 annual report

23 August 2022
Development West Coast
Development West Coast has released its annual report for the year ended 31 March 2022. The report highlights a year of extremes: economic disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic and severe weather events; as well as record investment and support for the West Coast business community.

Despite volatile financial markets in the final quarter of the financial year, DWC’s investment portfolio performed solidly achieving a total return of 5.19%, comfortably exceeded the benchmark target of 1.35%.

DWC ended the year with a net profit of $2.8m, down from $14.2m the previous year. The extraordinary market performance from the previous financial year enabled DWC to step up during difficult times and invest a greater proportion of the Fund into the region than ever before.

During 2021/2022, DWC approved $14.3m in commercial finance (a 113% increase from the previous year). A further $7.4m was invested in regional development and community projects (a 111% increase).

DWC has increased investment into initiatives that support the COVID-19 recovery, such as $2.62m through the Glacier Country Business Support Fund, and established a special flood relief package of close to $1m to support the Buller business community.

To help support the many volunteer, community and not-for-profit organisations and groups in the region, DWC increased its contribution to the West Coast Community Trust from $120,000 to $200,000.

As well as reacting to the immediate needs of the region, DWC is working on long-term projects and initiatives.

Te Whanaketanga Te Tai Poutini West Coast 2050 Strategy – ‘Together for Tomorrow’ was launched in February 2022. Te Whanaketanga provides a road map to guide economic development on the West Coast over the coming decades. Working alongside Te Whanaketanga Steering Group, DWC has a key role in overseeing the delivery of the strategy, working closely with the agencies that will lead the various actions contained within it.

Recognising the importance of retaining talent in the region, DWC launched its Tertiary Scholarship programme this financial year. Trustees have committed close to $1m over ten years for the scholarships, which are designed to grow and retain highly qualified West Coast residents by removing barriers to training and employment.

From its initial capital of $92m in 2001, DWC’s direct investment into the West Coast economy has now reached $178.8m while also growing and maintaining the Fund at $146.9m.

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The true value of DWC to the region goes far beyond direct investment into the economy. DWC staff are working tirelessly with local businesses to build capability, as well as helping them access other capital and business opportunities.

During the financial year, DWC worked with 305 actively managed clients, which included allocating $710,062 in training, advisory and advice implementation funding to 244 West Coast businesses. Despite disruptions from a COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing requirements, over 800 people attended DWC business events, workshops and trainings during the year.

DWC is continuing to leverage its Fund to attract investment into the region. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, DWC has helped secure over $14m in external funding for the region.

Despite the economic shock stemming from the pandemic and extreme weather events, West Coast businesses continue to look for opportunities. DWC remains committed to helping them manage the impacts of these recent events, as well as looking ahead at the economic recovery.

DWC looks forward to another year of working closely with stakeholders to unleash business potential on the West Coast while caring for people and place - Wetekina te pito mata pakihi, manaakitia te tangata, tiakina te rohe.

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