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Building resilient communities a hot topic

Building resilient communities a hot topic at Ministerial visit

Westland Milk Products today hosted Minister David Parker for his first official visit to the company’s head office in Hokitika.

Minister Parker holds five key portfolios, including Economic Development, Trade and Enterprise and Environment.

In addition to a tour of the Hokitika factory, CEO Toni Brendish took the opportunity to outline key issues facing not just Westland Milk Products but industries and business owners throughout the West Coast region.

She said there were five main challenges where additional government support is required to help the region continue to prosper:

1. fortifying energy supply and security,

2. strengthening and upgrading transport networks,

3. modernising communications,

4. creating are more resilient and diverse community, and

5. protecting the Coast’s unique environment.

The Minister heard that Westland Milk Products exports more than 92 percent of its product and represents a strong economic driver for the Coast.

At the same time the company explained how, following the devastating impacts of ex tropical cyclone Fehi in February this year, Westland Milk Products has been in ongoing discussions with local government and West Coast business owners to develop ways of working together to build a more resilient community.

“Our visit today was also an important opportunity for us to discuss our environmental positioning with the new Minister,” said Toni Brendish.

“As the country’s second largest dairy cooperative, environmental sustainability and ensuring excellence in our environmental standards is not only important for the West Coast community but integral to the sustainable growth of New Zealand’s dairy industry as a whole.

“In terms of the international market the West Coast’s unique environment is integral to the way we present our products and forms a critical part of our company’s philosophy and branding, so we treasure it immensely.”

ENDS

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