Christchurch man new DWC chief


Development West Coast’s new chief executive, Joseph Thomas, having once skippered a crayfishing boat from the Chathams, will be well accustomed to life away from the big cities.
DWC chairman John Sturgeon, announced today that Mr Thomas, who replaces Dr John Chang, will commence work on March 10, 2014.
Dr Chang commuted from Christchurch and latterly, Auckland, on a weekly basis but Mr Thomas will be moving to the West Coast, along with his wife Shelley when he commences work in March 2014.
Mr Thomas is currently the Christchurch-based chief executive of New Zealand Institute of Management Southern Incorporated.
Previous roles have included working as a business consultant for Polson Higgs, chief executive of the Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust and, prior to tertiary studies, captaining a crayfishing boat based in the Chatham Islands.
He holds a Bachelor of Management Studies from Waikato University, is a chartered accountant, an associate fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management, and holds several governance roles including his recent Ministerial appointment to the West Coast District Health Board.
He takes the seat on the board previously held by Development West Coast employee, Warren Gilbertson.
Mr Sturgeon said he was confident that Mr Thomas had the skills, energy and experience needed to ensure that the trust continued its positive momentum.
“He has the ability to think strategically along with strong practical knowledge and understanding of how to harness new and existing economic development opportunities in order to generate sustainable economic benefits for the West Coast.”