There are over forty heritage groups on the West Coast. Heritage West Coast was formed after a number of informal heritage forums, which brought together the people and associated groups involved in projects in the region to share knowledge and experiences. Heritage West Coast is a legally Incorporated Society. The efforts of its members are voluntary.

Heritage West Coast has established a steering committee which comprises people from heritage groups, projects, Tangata Whenua / indigenous first peoples representatives, central Government agencies including, Department of Conservation, the West Coast Branch of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and the three West Coast District Councils.

The forums are held at least twice a year with guest speakers and training on a wide range of heritage planning topics. This year’s topics have for example been led by some of New Zealand’s top consultants on “Designing Visitor Experience for the West Coast” and experienced planners on “Historic Heritage and the Resource Management Act”. They are held at different sites that provide a great chance to see other projects. They are informal and very social, something typical of the West Coast’s friendly lifestyle.

From the forums came the idea to develop a regional heritage strategy. The intention of the strategy was to encourage a regional approach to heritage planning rather than groups working individually. The goals in the strategy focus on regional coordination. They are about regional strategic planning, marketing and promotion, up-skilling, sustaining and promoting the region’s identity. The strategy also gives a very comprehensive history of the region. It should be up on this website later in the year.

Along with this website Heritage West Coast has also developed and distributes a very popular “Footprints” brochure with information on heritage sites and walks on the West Coast. An electronic copy of the brochure can be downloaded off the home page of this site.

To contact Heritage West Coast please click here: email Heritage West Coast

Twitter – Please follow us on Twitter @HeritageWestCoa

Flickr – View more images of heritage sites at http://www.flickr.com/photos/65424324@N03/ and upload your photos.