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We’re working with the West Coast to identify and explore opportunities to achieve growth in investment, incomes and employment in the region.

This region’s relatively remote location – and dramatic scenery – is partly why people live and visit here. But distance brings its own challenges – that’s why we’re investing $12.5 million to better connect the West Coast to the rest of the country and the world through our Ultra-Fast Broadband programme.

We are also investing in local businesses and major infrastructure projects, such as the new Grey Base Hospital, to boost the region’s economy – and improve health outcomes.

West Coast Economic snapshot

  • 15.5% economic growth since we were elected.
  • 3,500 new jobs created in West Coast and Nelson-Marlborough over the past year.
  • $10,415 increase in average annual wages since 2008, almost double the rate of inflation.
  • 24 more Police for the Tasman Police District, which covers West Coast, and a rural location yet to be confirmed in Tasman will now have a 24/7 Police presence - as part of our $503m Safer Communities package
  • We passed legislation to enable thousands of tonnes of windblown timber on the West Coast to be recovered and used.

Infrastructure

  • $77.8m for the new Grey Base Hospital, which is due to open next year.
  • 15 new cell towers have been built and 11 upgraded on the West Coast, improving black spots and areas of poor coverage.
  • 4 more towns on the West Coast to get Ultra-Fast Broadband benefitting 10,500 Coasters in Westport, Hokitika, Reefton and Runanga.
  • We’ve launched the Tai Poutini West Coast Economic Development Action Plan, which will invest up to $36.8m in areas like tourism, ICT and primary industries to diversify and boost the local economy. This includes $11m for a new regional research institute based in Greymouth.
  • We’re investing $25.8m in building the new Taramakau Bridge, with work expected to be completed by late 2018.

Education

  • 11,520 children in 61 schools in West Coast-Tasman benefitting from our $359 million initiative to keep the best teachers in the classroom and share expertise and leadership across schools.
  • 98.1% of young children in West Coast-Tasman participating in early childhood education, helping them get the best start in life.
  • 83.2% of 18-year-olds achieving NCEA Level 2 in West Coast-Tasman – an increase of 15.3 percentage points since 2011 – that’s 130 more 18-year-olds.

Health

  • 4,790 children on the West Coast are benefitting from our policy of free GP visits and prescriptions for all children aged under 13.
  • 270 more patients a year on the West Coast receiving elective operations than when we were elected.
  • 6,150 60 to 74-year-olds in the West Coast will be eligible for our bowel screening programme, which is being rolled out across the country to help prevent some of around 1,200 deaths each year.
  • We’re investing $77.8m in building the new Grey Base Hospital, which is due to open in 2018.
West Coast DHB
  • West Coast DHB will receive an extra $4 million in new money this year, taking the DHB’s total funding to $136 million for 2017/18. That’s an extra $29 million in funding over the last nine years.
  • Between 2008 to 2016, in the West Coast DHB:
    • Elective surgeries are up 17%.
    • Cataract surgeries are up 35%.
    • Hips and knee replacements are up 20%.
    • First Specialist Assessments are up 10%.

Making a difference

  • 248 people on the West Coast helped into their first home in the first two years of HomeStart.
  • 4,337 businesses and homes in Greymouth now able to connect to Ultra-Fast Broadband as part of our $2 billion investment to roll out faster internet across New Zealand.

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