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Westland Development Corporation Announced

The mayor of Westland district, John Drylie, has today announced a new Westland Development Corporation designed to bring new business ideas to life and to encourage West Coast entrepreneurs. John Howard reports.

Mr Drylie said, "The new corporation will use the theme "Westland's Working" and will act as a catalyst to help kick-start new ideas."

"I'm absolutely convinced that Westland people will blow our minds with their vision," he said.

Mr Drylie was recently named TV One person of the week on its Sunday night One Network News programme.

He said the new corporation will have a different focus and imperative from the Westland District Council's business promotions and strategic planning groups.

"It is important that ventures going forward from Westland to the new Economic Development Fund to be established with part of Government's $120 million settlement offer on the West Coast, are fully researched and professionally presented" said Mr Drylie.

"Sometimes all that is needed is a bit of help or direction. People will now have this forum to help answer their questions and to get expert assistance so their great ideas can be translated into reality," he said.

The structure of the corporation board has not been finalised but nominations will be sought from various sector groups.

Mr Drylie said if there are too many nominations a selection process will be used.

The board will not be an arm of Westland District Council although councillors and staff will likely play a part.

Mr Drylie has already invited representatives of the Auckland-based motivational group, Great Ventures NZ, to a Hokitika meeting next week.

"Great Ventures is backed by companies including Lion Nathan, Fletcher Challenge, ASB Bank, Deutsche Bank Carter Holt Harvey, Douglas Myers and the Warehouses' Stephen Tindall Foundation," he said

"Great Ventures NZ is able to offer us expertise to enthuse, encourage and assist our potential businesses and entrepreneurs."

"It's time to move ahead and secure our future. We have spent time and energy battling an implacable Government over the sustainable management of our resources."

"Last Friday the West Coast was forced to accept that the way ahead may not be that which we had previously expected. With all the difficulties that the Government's actions have created there was also an opportunity for Westland to prove that it can develop ventures that lead to economic and social growth.

"We must not wait, but start immediately to ensure that we determine and create our new future. Let's now fashion that future".

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