Fuseworks Media

Driving economic growth along the Pounamu Pathway

The Pounamu Pathway, officially opened by Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Development on Friday 16 February, continues to boost local economies through visitor numbers and employment growth on the West Coast, with experience centres open in Māwhera/Greymouth and Kawatiri/Westport. Ngāi Tahu expertise in world class tourism ventures combined with Wētā Workshop’s world-renowned creativity has created the beginning of what is set to be a world first on the West Coast of the South Island, with two more experience centres currently being developed.

The growth in job opportunities spurred by the Pounamu Pathway has been significant, with numerous local businesses, suppliers, and personnel contributing their expertise and dedication to the project. This includes a diverse array of roles, from skilled labour to the creative input of a design team and project management professionals and front of house staff. Additionally, the collaboration with local Poutini Ngāi tahu artists underscores a commitment to showcasing regional talent and enriching the cultural fabric of the project.

The cultural committee further ensure that local iwi perspectives are woven into every aspect of the Pounamu Pathway. Additionally, a reliance on local contactors not only supports the economy but also fosters a sense of community pride.

“To witness the impactful growth and success of our region’s newest venture developing along the West Coast, is really exciting. Together, we are shaping a vibrant future with employment opportunities and the promise of drawing in visitors eager to explore our vibrant communities,” said Greymouth Mayor, Tania Gibson.

Efforts extend beyond job creation to nurturing partnerships with local businesses, as evidenced by the successful local business famil event that drew over 300 attendees in late 2023 and this remarkable turnout is a promising sign of a sustainable future ahead.

As the development of the next two experience centres evolves, the Pounamu Pathway anticipates sustained tourism growth throughout the year, benefiting local hospitality establishments, and other tourism attractions across the wider West Coast. By drawing visitors eager to explore the region’s vibrant communities, the project aims to continue its contribution to the overall vibrancy and economic vitality of the area.

“We are incredibly proud of the success achieved so far with the Pounamu Pathway,” said Tony Williams, Pounamu Pathway Chair. “As we continue to grow and expand, we remain committed to driving economic growth, preserving our heritage, and promoting our region on a global stage.”


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