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Matariki Communications Update - Action 7.2

Matariki Communications Update - Action 7.2

Work Area 7
Enhance visitor satisfaction and increase spend

Action 7.2
Develop a Maori-centred tourism group to increase the experience, the spend and employment opportunities.

Update October 2017
Hawke’s Bay is widely recognised as a premium tourist destination and progress being made on Action 7.2 of the region’s economic development strategy not only supports this status but also aims to further enhance the region’s reputation nationally and internationally.

Project Lead and experienced tourism operator Toro Waaka says a focus on career paths for local people – not just on helping them get a job – should be the long-term focus for everyone involved in the tourism industry.

“Unless we factor that in to economic development we are all going to end up in trouble.”

Mr Waaka also believes regional collaboration is essential to success.

“We on the East coast must collaborate to develop a range of experiences that will convince people to ‘turn the steering wheel’ and come this way. Warm weather and outstanding scenery is not enough – we need authentic activities and experiences.”

With regional collaboration in mind, the Hawke’s Bay Maori Tourism Charitable Trust was established in October 2016, following three consultation hui held around the region. With six local trustees (Lisa Chittick, Peter Eden, Narelle Huata, Annette Purere, Allen Smith and chairman Toro Waaka), its goal is to take ownership of Maori tourism in the region and create opportunities that will benefit both tourism operators and tourists.

Current initiatives include the development of a hunting and fishing consortium to organise a supply of hunters and fishers to act as guides for tourists, youth-focused Mohaka River activities such as rafting, fishing and hunting, exploring the feasibility of a walkway between Hawke’s Bay and Taupo, and developing Maori tourism opportunities with China.

The redevelopment of Peak House in Havelock North has been one of the Trust’s most recent projects. Previously a restaurant and functions venue, the iconic building located on the slopes of Te Mata Peak will soon re-open as a boutique conference centre, café and function facility. It will be a place where both locals and out-of-town visitors can meet, enjoy the panoramic views and network says Mr Waaka.

“Everyone will soon be able to enjoy this wonderful venue once again, be it for a business meeting, a casual coffee or a special occasion like a small wedding or milestone birthday.”

“This place offers so many unexplored opportunities. In time we hope to have trainee hospitality staff here for work experience, and there is scope for baristas, wait staff and junior chefs to develop their skills. We could also use this space as a place to train Maori tour guides, to help them develop their storytelling skills, their appreciation of this land and the value of eco-tourism.”

For Mr Waaka the Peak House redevelopment and other initiatives underway are just the beginning of extensive collaborative efforts to enhance visitor satisfaction and increase spend in Hawke’s Bay.

“We have so much to offer, here in the winterless East!”

Related Matariki Actions
Other initiatives linked to Action 7.2 are Actions 7.1 (to improve collaboration between organisations tasked with tourism product development and infrastructure spend to establish a co-ordinated approach to developing tourism products and a programme of initiatives in order to optimise visitor spend in Hawke’s Bay) and 7.3 (to improve collaboration between the tourism industry and educational institutes to improve staff training).

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