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Community spirit wins West Coaster Eric de Boer a First Steps in Governance award

Media release
By Institute of Directors
24 Nov 2020
read time
3 min to read
Eric de Boer

A strong desire to give back to the West Coast community has helped land Eric de Boer an Institute of Directors Canterbury First Steps in Governance award.

Eric, an Infrastructure Delivery Manager at Buller District Council (BDC), will take up a governance internship with Development West Coast, a charitable trust that manages, invests and distributes income to promote economic benefit and employment on the West Coast. Eric will also receive a year’s complimentary IoD membership, including professional development training, attendance at Canterbury Branch functions, as well as one-on-one mentoring from an experienced director.

Development West Coast Chair Renee Rooney says “Eric is passionate about developing his governance skills, and his enthusiasm and appreciation of the West Coast region’s strengths and challenges will be a great asset to the board.”

The IoD awards individuals who are motivated to further their business experience, gain insight into good governance practice and learn about the dynamics of sitting on a board. Several past recipients of the First Steps in Governance award, launched in 2014, have gone on to build successful governance careers.

Eric, who has lived on the West Coast for more than 15 years, says the award will be a great help in developing his governance and leadership skills so he can continue to support the wider region.

“Joining the board of Development West Coast will be an invaluable learning opportunity, allowing me to experience how a board operates and what good governance looks like in practice. Having the support of an experienced director through a mentoring relationship, as well as networking with fellow members of the Institute of Directors will also be highly beneficial to my governance journey. I’m grateful to the IoD and the First Steps in Governance programme for giving me this opportunity,” Eric says. 

The selection panel were impressed with Eric’s desire to give back to the West Coast community, his approachable and open style, as well as his commitment to developing his governance skills. Eric was part of the 2014/15 intake for the 16-month Development West Coast Leadership & Governance Programme.

As well as his job at the BDC, which sees him delivering infrastructure improvement projects across the district, Eric is currently the Deputy Chair for the Home Builders West Coast Trust. This not-for-profit focuses on working with West Coast families and whanau who are facing challenging circumstances and need support to make changes in their lives.

Eric’s long-term career goal is to continue to serve the region, both practically and through governance, as well as complete his engineering qualifications. “I’d like to be involved in organisations that will help ensure the long-term viability of the region and, by connecting with Coast-based governance, help influence its future direction and key decision making.”

Eric will receive his First Steps in Governance award at an IoD function in Greymouth in early 2021.

About Development West Coast

Development West Coast (DWC) was set up as a Charitable Trust in 2001 to manage, invest and distribute income from a fund of $92 million received from the Government.

This fund was an adjustment package for the loss of indigenous forestry and the privatisation of infrastructure on the West Coast in the late 1990s.

DWC is governed by a Deed of Trust, which specifies DWC's objectives - to promote sustainable employment opportunities and generate sustainable economic benefits for the West Coast, both now and into the future. See more information on the Development West Coast website.

About the IoD

The IoD is a not-for-profit organisation and New Zealand’s leading professional body for directors, at the heart of the governance community. We believe in the power of good governance to create a strong, fair and sustainable future powered by best practice governance. Our role is to drive excellence and high standards in governance. We provide governance resources and tools to support and equip our members who lead a range of organisations – listed companies, large private organisations, state and public sector entities, small and medium enterprises, not-for-profit organisations and charities.

Media contacts

Eric de Boer
027 312 2727

Renee Rooney
Chair, Development West Coast

Sharynn Johnson
IoD Canterbury Branch Manager
027 228 606

Vanessa Glennie
IoD Corporate Communications Manager
027 957 0315