Finding an opportunity to bring her international economic development experience back to the West Coast was one of the prime reasons Dame Julie Christie applied for, and was appointed as a trustee of Development West Coast.
Born on the West Coast and still a West Coast ratepayer through having a holiday home at Lake Kaniere, Dame Julie cares deeply about the economic advancement of the region.
“We cannot be left behind but advancements like record tourist numbers do not come without their issues so I believe in thorough planning for such growth. Having spent the past nine years on various government economic development boards and as a professional director, I always look for roles that are a challenge but roles in which I feel I can make a difference.
“I think my experience in economic development will enhance my ability to contribute as a trustee,” she said.
Dame Julie said that it is important that she embeds herself in the Trust over the next few months to ensure she is fully knowledgeable of what has been achieved in the past, what the Trust future plans are, and what can be achieved.
“I met with the mayors and the chair of the regional council, and we discussed frankly the role and the issues DWC faces. I then undertook my own due diligence and I am very confident that I can contribute extensively to what the council leaders want to achieve through DWC.
“The West Coast undoubtedly faces major challenges and it’s my intention to do everything I can with my experience and my contacts to ensure the region’s voice is heard,” she said.
Andrew Robb, Joint Mayors and Chairs member and West Coast Regional Council chairman, said that Dame Julie already had a very good understanding of the role and the aims of the DWC.
“With her business acumen and extensive contacts, and the fact that she now has the time and capacity to contribute significantly, she will be a great asset to DWC in particular, and the West Coast region in general,” he said.
Dame Julie Christie
• DNZM– Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Governance and the Television Industry - 2017
• 2008 Veuve Clicquot New Zealand Businesswoman of the Year
• ONZM - Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Film & Television
• 2010 West Coast Businesswoman of the Year