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Lindsay Mckinney Hospitality Personality Of 2003


Lindsay Mckinney 2003 Hospitality Personality Of The Year

This year’s Hospitality Personality of the Year was mildly curious about who they were talking about when HANZ chief Bruce Robertson read out the citation at the annual Awards for Excellence dinner in Christchurch early in October.

And when his name was announced, Lindsay McKinney was "totally stunned", he says. Chairman of the Board of Pacific Hotels/Motels Resorts Ltd (with some 70 properties around New Zealand), and also general manager of Bentley’s Central City Hotel, Dunedin, the well known and well liked McKinney won the award for his leadership qualities in several different areas.

He’s been president of the Otago branch of HANZ for the past three years, during which time it has grown in strength and influence. This is partly due to McKinney’s ability to think laterally. Instead of bowling tournament sponsorships ‘worthy but unadventurous ‘Lindsay organised a harbour barrel race earlier this year, which raised $15,000 for child cancer.

It also raised the profile of the hospitality industry in the district.

TV3 showed the race, where a dozen rafts, with beer kegs the only buoyancy allowed, competed across Dunedin’s harbour. It was so popular that it’s now going to become an annual event, though Lindsay himself will want to improve his own raft design, which was so bad it nearly sank.

McKinney has also been prominent in lobbying parliamentarians to change the proposed draconian smoke-free legislation. He was behind the poster campaign featuring local legislation supporters Peter Hodgson and David Benson-Pope, and organised a tour of some Dunedin pubs with National’s Katherine Rich, who is opposed to the bill as it stands. He pointed out to her that these "average, working class" pubs were clean, fresh and well maintained ‘a far cry from the smoke-filled dens portrayed by the bill’s proponents.

Balclutha-born Lindsay McKinney began his hospitality career in 1974 with Lion Breweries in Dunedin, after five years’ training in sign writing at Wellington Polytechnic and a few years working in this field back in Balclutha. He started as a merchandiser with Lion, moved on to become a Speights sales rep, then worked for four years as brand development manager in Auckland with Wilson Neill, had a year in Wellington with that company, then back to Auckland with DB.

But he’s a southerner through and through, and has long since returned to his favourite part of New Zealand ‘first as CEO with the Clutha Licensing Trust, then to Pacifica. Four years ago, he opened an Irish pub in Dunedin called Dicey O’Riley’s, and recently franchised it in Christchurch. Lindsay has no interest in running these Irish pubs himself, however.

Typically thinking outside the square, he’s employed an accomplished general manager named Sheelagh Heward ‘a Scotswoman with a broad Scottish accent!

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