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New Chair of DWC commits to improvements

3 December 2008


New Chair of Development West Coast commits to improvements

The appointment of Greymouth businessman Tony Williams as the new Chairman of Development West Coast heralds a renewed focus on building sustainable employment opportunities, generating sustainable economic benefits for the West Coast region and conducting its affairs in a transparent and accountable manner.

In confirming his acceptance of the role, Mr Williams said the Board of Development West Coast is committed to connecting with the community and re-establishing communications with those the Trust is designed to benefit.

“We intend to get the organisation moving forward and part of that is never forgetting that it is our privilege to represent the people of the West Coast.”

As part of this Mr Williams said he would be seeking meetings with Mayors and Council Executives, DOC, Ngai Tahu and the Settlor before Christmas.

Mr Williams said that while it is still very early days for the new face of the Board, trustees had already started planning for the months ahead – but re-appraising every aspect of the Trust’s structure was a matter of urgency, as was the need to refocus on the principles laid out in the Trust Deed.

He said the Global credit crisis was a challenge for many West Coast businesses and DWC was no exception. He said the Trust will look to consolidate its financial position, and non-performing investments would come in for close scrutiny.

Mr Williams paid tribute to the contribution by outgoing Chairman and Wellington accountant, Brian Roche, who was appointed by the Settlor in February of this year for a 12 month term.

Many issues have been investigated since Mr Roche’s arrival in February and progress made on improving the Trust’s performance, both financially and in relation to its obligation to transparency to the West Coast people.

“Mr Roche has acted in a very professional way and in the interests of the Trust and the people of the West Coast. We were very lucky to have a person of his standing available to help and we are indebted to him as a community for his contribution,” Mr Williams said.

Both the Law Society and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants are in the process of making Trustee appointments to cover the retirement or re-appointment of Trustees Roche and Lockington on or before the 14th of February 2009.

Mr Williams also announced that the Trust was in the final stages of making an appointment for the position of CEO.

“This is a very challenging time for the West Coast community and for Development West Coast. Mr. Williams said.


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