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12/07/2018 12:00 p.m.
The West Coast
Economic Development Governance Group held their final meeting yesterday. With
changes to the delivery of economic development nearing completion, the
Governance Group’s primary role has been accomplished.
The Governance Group
was originally formed as a short term entity to provide oversight of the
Regional Growth Study and implementation of the Economic Development Action
Plan, released in July 2017.
Andrew Robb, the
out-going Chair of the Governance Group, is pleased with the progress that has been
made in the economic development space, acknowledging the work behind the
scenes by the lead agencies driving forward the various initiatives and the
oversight by the Group’s members.
“I would like to thank
the past and present members of the Governance Group,” said Mr Robb. “The Group,
and the various lead agencies, have made a significant contribution over the
past two years and they are to be applauded for their determination in seeing
A public update on the
initiatives in the Action Plan, released in March, provided a snapshot of where
the initiatives had got to. Mr Robb noted that there is more to look forward
“We are excited about
the prospects for the future of the West Coast, particularly those to be
leveraged through the Provincial Growth Fund. Although I note we also have some
key challenges to address as a region.”
Recent work across the
West Coast has contributed to the development of a new economic development
vision. Endorsed by the Mayors and Chairs, the vision sets out the strategic
direction for economic development on the West Coast.
Development West Coast
and its Economic Development Unit will now be responsible for the
implementation of the Economic Development Strategy for the region, ensuring
that the goals identified are achieved. Additional support is being provided
from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and the Government’s Provincial
Development Unit to help develop the expressions of interest received into
sound and robust ‘investment ready’ applications.
Mr Robb said that
business should have confidence in Development West Coast overseeing this work.
“The feedback from the
business representatives on the Governance Group was very positive about DWC
taking the lead in this space; something we agree has been missing in the
A large number of
projects have been put forward for submission to the Provincial Growth Fund in
the coming months. Some of these have already been submitted and are being
reviewed by the Provincial Development Unit.
“We are looking
forward to announcements from Minister Jones in coming months,” said Mr Robb.
“The regions of New Zealand are where the opportunities lie, and the West Coast
is full of potential.”
about how applications can be submitted to the Provincial Growth Fund, with
assistance from DWC’s Economic Development Unit, will be published in the next