Tourism body says staff 'number one priority'

Activate Tairawhiti's priority is making transition as smooth as possible.

Activate Tairawhiti's priority is making transition as smooth as possible.

Gisborne I Site

ACTIVATE Tairawhiti and Tourism Eastland were today both looking to the future.

Activate’s chief executive Steve Breen recognised yesterday’s vote was a bittersweet moment for the tourism body’s membership.

“While we are obviously pleased with the decision that was made last night, we are also respectful of that legacy and look forward to building new and lasting relationships with those who carry a wealth of industry knowledge," he said.

“While the process has been challenging, what became clear last night was we are all 100 percent committed to delivering for the region. There are some real opportunities and continuing to work collaboratively as an industry and region will ensure we make the most of them.

“In the short term, however, operational issues will become Activate’s focus as they take on the tasks of running the i-Site from July 1.

“Staffing is critical. We’ve had to respect Tourism Eastland’s process as the current employer. Following last night’s decision, we are now in a position to work through our own process deliberately and with urgency.

“This decision also enables some constructive engagement with Tourism Eastland around the roles of the team and puts us in a much better position to understand the staffing structure and what we might need to carry forward. We understand that this is an unsettling time for the team, so making the transition as smooth as possible is our main priority.

Transferring operational contracts

“Work is already under way to transfer operational contracts, and the i-Site will be open for business on July 1.”

Beyond that, Mr Breen said that there are further decisions to be made around the future of the i-Site. No decisions had been predetermined and none would be made lightly.

Tourism Eastland president David Sly said Tourism Eastland had always stated it would do what was best for the Gisborne region and would work with any organisation, and had proven that by getting behind the Air NZ marketing campaign “100 percent”.

“All Tourism Eastland had asked for is a proposal be presented to us and that Activate Tairawhiti understand our business. Tourism Eastland’s number one priority has been its staff and where they fit in any future organisation. We have staff who have been working for Tourism Eastland for over 30 years and all staff have a great knowledge we do not want to lose, nor can afford to lose in a new organisation.

“We still have not had any guarantee of staffing and we are only two weeks away from Activate Tairawhiti running the i-Site.

“Tourism Eastland will continue as an advocacy/lobby group and will continue to support tourism.

“We fully support the extra money that might come available for tourism marketing. We have been saying for years that more money is needed to market this region.”

ACTIVATE Tairawhiti and Tourism Eastland were today both looking to the future.

Activate’s chief executive Steve Breen recognised yesterday’s vote was a bittersweet moment for the tourism body’s membership.

“While we are obviously pleased with the decision that was made last night, we are also respectful of that legacy and look forward to building new and lasting relationships with those who carry a wealth of industry knowledge," he said.

“While the process has been challenging, what became clear last night was we are all 100 percent committed to delivering for the region. There are some real opportunities and continuing to work collaboratively as an industry and region will ensure we make the most of them.

“In the short term, however, operational issues will become Activate’s focus as they take on the tasks of running the i-Site from July 1.

“Staffing is critical. We’ve had to respect Tourism Eastland’s process as the current employer. Following last night’s decision, we are now in a position to work through our own process deliberately and with urgency.

“This decision also enables some constructive engagement with Tourism Eastland around the roles of the team and puts us in a much better position to understand the staffing structure and what we might need to carry forward. We understand that this is an unsettling time for the team, so making the transition as smooth as possible is our main priority.

Transferring operational contracts

“Work is already under way to transfer operational contracts, and the i-Site will be open for business on July 1.”

Beyond that, Mr Breen said that there are further decisions to be made around the future of the i-Site. No decisions had been predetermined and none would be made lightly.

Tourism Eastland president David Sly said Tourism Eastland had always stated it would do what was best for the Gisborne region and would work with any organisation, and had proven that by getting behind the Air NZ marketing campaign “100 percent”.

“All Tourism Eastland had asked for is a proposal be presented to us and that Activate Tairawhiti understand our business. Tourism Eastland’s number one priority has been its staff and where they fit in any future organisation. We have staff who have been working for Tourism Eastland for over 30 years and all staff have a great knowledge we do not want to lose, nor can afford to lose in a new organisation.

“We still have not had any guarantee of staffing and we are only two weeks away from Activate Tairawhiti running the i-Site.

“Tourism Eastland will continue as an advocacy/lobby group and will continue to support tourism.

“We fully support the extra money that might come available for tourism marketing. We have been saying for years that more money is needed to market this region.”

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