West Coast

The West Coast has resourceful people, a rich history and a spectacular natural environment with abundant resources. But the region’s economy is strongly dependent on the international prices of coal, gold and dairy. The development of the West Coast Tai Poutini Action Plan picks up on opportunities for economic diversity and identifies clear pathways forward for regional growth and prosperity.

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The Regional Growth Programme on the West Coast

The West Coast was included in the Government’s Regional Growth Programme in November 2015 as a region with persistent economic under-performance. The Tai Poutini West Coast Growth Study was completed and launched by West Coast leaders and Ministers in September 2016.

Through the Tai Poutini Economic Development Action Plan the West Coast has identified high priority actions for lifting economic growth based on the opportunities identified in the Growth Study.

Read the Action Plan on the West Coast Regional Council’s website.

Focus areas

The West Coast is full of potential. Many of the characteristics of the region that have traditionally been seen as barriers will be the key to its future success. The development of this Action Plan picks up on these opportunities and identifies clear pathways forward which will effect real change in the lives of West Coast’s people, their communities and future growth and prosperity.

While minerals and dairy will continue to be critical sectors for the West Coast, the Growth Study saw tourism as the major immediate opportunity to increase investment and employment in the region. This is reflected in the Action Plan, with seven of the Governance Group’s 14 headline initiatives relating to growing the West Coast visitor economy.

The Action Plan has five priorities for the region. In addition to growing the visitor economy, the plan has initiatives aimed at making it easier to invest and do business; supporting economic diversification; improving connectivity and infrastructure and enhancing support for economic development.

Growing the visitor economy aims to spread visitors more widely across the region, increase visitor expenditure and lengthen visitor stays. Other notable initiatives in the Plan include streamlining mining consent processes and a digital economy action plan designed to make full use of ultra-fast broadband as it is extended to new parts of the region. It also includes the establishment of a sustainable whitebait fishery, safeguarding what is undoubtedly a West Coast icon, work on enabling ongoing access to windblown timber and on contributing to the establishment of horticulture-based social enterprises across the Coast.

Implementation and Governance

The West Coast Regional Growth Governance Group will initially oversee the implementation of the Action Plan as the region begins a transition to new economic development governance and delivery arrangements. Through the Regional Growth Programme, the Government is working with the region to ensure they have the resources they need to implement the Action Plan.

For more information

Visit the West Coast Regional Council’s website.