Community initiatives for environment-based economic development in a depressed region: a case study from the West Coast of New Zealand
This paper presents a case study from the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand of a small remote community that responded to the closure of its dairy factory and sawmilling operations with projects to create new opportunities based on the region's outstanding natural attractions. Features of this case study include the way in which local people created a community trust to bring together volunteers with different skills to work on the projects and the partnership role played by central government in supporting the Trust's initiatives. The success of the project depended on infrastructure investment to encourage tourists to extend their stay in the region.
Keywords: regional economic development, cost-benefit analysis, ecotourism, environment-based development, depressed regions, New Zealand, tourism, remote communities, community trust