Stoltz Plea wins marketing plan debate

GDC endorses marketing plan.

GDC endorses marketing plan.

AN impassioned plea by Deputy Mayor Rehette Stoltz helped convince Gisborne District Council to endorse a regional marketing plan.

There was a round of applause for her when she finished her final speech urging the council to endorse the plan as the way forward, after some councillors questioned the need to change to a new brand, “Tairawhiti-Gisborne, the first light”.

Her speech helped to carry the motion to endorse the campaign by eight votes to five, after councillor Amber Dunn and others had questioned the need for a brand change.

The council is contributing $50,000 a year for three years.

Mrs Stoltz described the campaign as a golden opportunity for the district which was the result of more than a year of intensive workshopping involving all the stakeholders.

Air New Zealand had come on board and helped with its world-class research and marketing. The 14 steering group stakeholders showed the level of support.

She thanked and congratulated Activate Tairawhiti and Eastland Community Trust for believing in the proposal.

“I urge all councillors to have the vision to embrace this opportunity and support this proposal to promote ourselves with one united Tairawhiti voice,” she said.

Brian Wilson was also strongly in support of “a unique opportunity”.

There had been discussion in the media about branding but he believed this brand was consistent with a successful past one.

“It actually stands for what this region is about.”

The economy of the region was tied with air transport and the bigger planes to Wellington were essential.

“We have everything to go for here and nothing to lose.”

Got our mojo back

Larry Foster said the district had got its mojo back. To have Air New Zealand behind this was a wish come true. This was ground-breaking and would be transformational.

Andy Cranston said a large number of people had been involved. In the past people had gone off on a tangent promoting their own brand and confusing things.

Josh Wharehinga said he loved Gisborne but it did have a stigma attached to it. Tairawhiti did not and that was where branding efforts should be focused. He had always wondered at the previous different brand names.

“It was like we were having an identity crisis,” he said.

Craig Bauld said Air New Zealand was doing this because it wanted to improve its business. He did not support “Tairawhiti-Gisborne, the first light” suddenly appearing.

Bill Burdett asked how this covered the whole region.

“I want to see more detail before I give this the rubber stamp.”

Meredith Akuhata-Brown favoured the first light part of the brand but said she would like some more clarity about the bigger picture.

Council endorsing process

Chief executive Judy Campbell said the council was only being asked to endorse the process, it was not being asked to manage it. They could refuse to endorse it but they did not own the brand. The Eastland Community Trust was spending more than $1 million on the campaign.

Amber Dunn said the problem was how to get bums on seats between Wellington and Gisborne. One answer was to spend money on describing and showcasing what Gisborne had to offer and what was unique.

“What we have now got in front of us is to change our name. We have a new brand and tag line that says ‘first light’.

“My question is this, how does a new brand name get bums on seats? How will it drive increased sales for Air New Zealand, which is what all this is about? How would ‘first light’ get more people coming here?”

There were no answers to that in the report before the council. She had not read anywhere why the proposed brand was any better than the present one.

“Guess what, we do have a brand, the brand is called Out East.”

Lots of money had been invested in this over the past five years.

“I am not convinced that a new region-wide brand is necessary to fill planes coming from Wellington.”

She also questioned the logic of having a new name that was inconsistent with the airport name used by Air New Zealand — Gisborne.

“I don’t have enough information in front of me to convince me that this is the right path,” she said.

Pat Seymour said only about 27 or 28 Auckland people had been consulted in research for the campaign, which was “pretty skinny”.

Uncomfortable about name change

She felt really uncomfortable about changing the name.

“I can live with Gisborne-Tairawhiti but I can’t support Tairawhiti-Gisborne. That will only confuse people.”

Mayor Meng Foon said Air New Zealand had been voted the world’s best airline five times. This was about promoting Gisborne-Tairawhiti as a place to come to live, do business and have recreation.

The many brands used before should all be deleted, he said.

The China Travel Association in Auckland had contacted him and was excited about this.

“This is actually a no-brainer. There should be no doubt in your minds that this is the way forward and we have got the support of almost everyone in this town.

“I urge you, vote yes,” he said.

AN impassioned plea by Deputy Mayor Rehette Stoltz helped convince Gisborne District Council to endorse a regional marketing plan.

There was a round of applause for her when she finished her final speech urging the council to endorse the plan as the way forward, after some councillors questioned the need to change to a new brand, “Tairawhiti-Gisborne, the first light”.

Her speech helped to carry the motion to endorse the campaign by eight votes to five, after councillor Amber Dunn and others had questioned the need for a brand change.

The council is contributing $50,000 a year for three years.

Mrs Stoltz described the campaign as a golden opportunity for the district which was the result of more than a year of intensive workshopping involving all the stakeholders.

Air New Zealand had come on board and helped with its world-class research and marketing. The 14 steering group stakeholders showed the level of support.

She thanked and congratulated Activate Tairawhiti and Eastland Community Trust for believing in the proposal.

“I urge all councillors to have the vision to embrace this opportunity and support this proposal to promote ourselves with one united Tairawhiti voice,” she said.

Brian Wilson was also strongly in support of “a unique opportunity”.

There had been discussion in the media about branding but he believed this brand was consistent with a successful past one.

“It actually stands for what this region is about.”

The economy of the region was tied with air transport and the bigger planes to Wellington were essential.

“We have everything to go for here and nothing to lose.”

Got our mojo back

Larry Foster said the district had got its mojo back. To have Air New Zealand behind this was a wish come true. This was ground-breaking and would be transformational.

Andy Cranston said a large number of people had been involved. In the past people had gone off on a tangent promoting their own brand and confusing things.

Josh Wharehinga said he loved Gisborne but it did have a stigma attached to it. Tairawhiti did not and that was where branding efforts should be focused. He had always wondered at the previous different brand names.

“It was like we were having an identity crisis,” he said.

Craig Bauld said Air New Zealand was doing this because it wanted to improve its business. He did not support “Tairawhiti-Gisborne, the first light” suddenly appearing.

Bill Burdett asked how this covered the whole region.

“I want to see more detail before I give this the rubber stamp.”

Meredith Akuhata-Brown favoured the first light part of the brand but said she would like some more clarity about the bigger picture.

Council endorsing process

Chief executive Judy Campbell said the council was only being asked to endorse the process, it was not being asked to manage it. They could refuse to endorse it but they did not own the brand. The Eastland Community Trust was spending more than $1 million on the campaign.

Amber Dunn said the problem was how to get bums on seats between Wellington and Gisborne. One answer was to spend money on describing and showcasing what Gisborne had to offer and what was unique.

“What we have now got in front of us is to change our name. We have a new brand and tag line that says ‘first light’.

“My question is this, how does a new brand name get bums on seats? How will it drive increased sales for Air New Zealand, which is what all this is about? How would ‘first light’ get more people coming here?”

There were no answers to that in the report before the council. She had not read anywhere why the proposed brand was any better than the present one.

“Guess what, we do have a brand, the brand is called Out East.”

Lots of money had been invested in this over the past five years.

“I am not convinced that a new region-wide brand is necessary to fill planes coming from Wellington.”

She also questioned the logic of having a new name that was inconsistent with the airport name used by Air New Zealand — Gisborne.

“I don’t have enough information in front of me to convince me that this is the right path,” she said.

Pat Seymour said only about 27 or 28 Auckland people had been consulted in research for the campaign, which was “pretty skinny”.

Uncomfortable about name change

She felt really uncomfortable about changing the name.

“I can live with Gisborne-Tairawhiti but I can’t support Tairawhiti-Gisborne. That will only confuse people.”

Mayor Meng Foon said Air New Zealand had been voted the world’s best airline five times. This was about promoting Gisborne-Tairawhiti as a place to come to live, do business and have recreation.

The many brands used before should all be deleted, he said.

The China Travel Association in Auckland had contacted him and was excited about this.

“This is actually a no-brainer. There should be no doubt in your minds that this is the way forward and we have got the support of almost everyone in this town.

“I urge you, vote yes,” he said.

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