Okarito Kayaks used the time they had from the COVID-19 downturn to address a thorny problem – a widespread gorse invasion around Ōkārito Lagoon. They put the word out about ‘GorseBusters’, hoping for a few volunteers. What they got instead was nationwide media coverage, generous donations of supplies from major businesses, and 90 volunteers from across the country.
Okarito Kayaks introduced the idea of GorseBusters to Development West Coast (DWC), the regional economic development agency, for help raising awareness of the project.
With no marketing budget, media relations were leveraged to turn a small-scale working bee into a national event that gave back to the local environment and provided a rare feel-good story during challenging times.
Hear from Aaron Rees from Development West Coast about how the tiny town of 40 were managed to get the help of outsiders to help fight the gorse invasion.
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Your presenter is..
Aaron Rees, the Marketing and Communications Manager for Development West Coast – a charitable trust tasked with promoting sustainable employment opportunities; and generating sustainable economic benefits for the West Coast region.
Aaron grew up on the West Coast and has an academic background in Development Studies. While running a start-up business in India he discovered the power and importance of forming good media relations.
Moving back to the West Coast after 20 years, Aaron has a passion for working with the media to help showcase the region as a great place to work, live and play.