MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development – Release/Statement
Headline: New action plan for West Coast to increase economic diversity
The West Coast community and Ministers today launched the Tai Poutini West Coast Economic Development Action Plan at an event in Hokitika.
The Action Plan builds on the high priority actions for increasing economic growth identified in the Tai Poutini West Coast Growth Study. The implementation of the Plan will be overseen by the West Coast Regional Growth Governance Group with support from the Government’s Regional Growth Programme.
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.
The Action Plan is not a short term fix but a long term commitment to achieving better economic outcomes for all communities in the West Coast. The region sees this as the time to grasp the opportunities in the Plan, to celebrate and market their identity, and tell the world that they are open for business.
Read the Action Plan on the West Coast Regional Council’s website.