Meng and Ying Foon buy Tatapouri paradise

Tourism confidence confirmed with mayoral couple's campground purchase

Tourism confidence confirmed with mayoral couple's campground purchase

FAMILY AFFAIR: Meng and Ying Foon, and their son Nathan, inside one of the glamping tents at Tatapouri Motor Camp. The Foons say they are trying to bring something different to the market. Tatapouri could be made an iconic destination, Mr Foon says. Nathan has been helping to establish the new-look camp. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

MAYORAL couple Meng and Ying Foon have expressed their confidence in the Gisborne tourism industry, by becoming part of it.

They have big plans as the new owners of Tatapouri Motor Camp, including glamping tents, licensed facilities and the best of local produce and beverages available to patrons.

Mr Foon described Tatapouri as paradise, but their dream was to make the location even better by ‘‘repurposing’’ the site from camping to glamping.

“It’s flash camping,’’ said Mr Foon.

“It’s where the tent and bed is all ready for your enjoyment.’’

The log cabins, self-contained family cabins and tent sites will remain.

But Mr Foon said the site “lends itself to a glamping experience with hot tubs”.

“There are so many opportunities to camp and park up now for $2 and council car parks are free — so we have to do something different.”

“We are researching which glamping tents suit this area, as it can get very windy.

“A good bed, clean toilets and showers are the essentials for our guests’ glamping experience.”

Mr Foon said there was still much work to do and any suggestions from the public would be appreciated.

The couple are keen to host events, weddings, yoga and other wellness services and plan to lease the café/licensed facility.

‘‘There is keen interest from a number of local and national operators,’’ said Mr Foon.

“We want this facility to use and buy as much local produce and beverage as possible.

‘“We have it all here.

“I’m keen to celebrate and promote our local wines, juices, vegetables, fruit, honey, seafood, cider, and sheep milk.

“We will encourage the operator to provide a range of seafood.

“It will be a challenge.’’

The new-look facility is not yet completed with more infrastructure planned including water storage and treatment, more wastewater management and more access to electricity.

“But we do have to get resource consents.

‘‘That is no easy task.

“Even the mayor needs to follow rules.”

He has also investigated solar energy, a desalination plant, wind power and worm composting.

The two hectare site had “location, location, location”.

“Tatapouri is truly a paradise.

“It has a safe lagoon for kayaking.

“We have bought some see-through kayaks and they are a hit with our guests.

“Makorori and Wainui swim and surf beaches are just a few minutes south and Nga Tapuwae o Rongokako marine reserve is minutes north.

“Tatapouri has a positive feel.

“The mauri (spirit) is good and we have great neighbours — Pouawa 1A, Makorori Farms, owned by Robin and Richard Busby, Dive Tatapouri, Turihaua Station owned by Angela and Hamish Williams, Gisborne Tatapouri Sports Fishing Club and Ngati Porou Holdings.”

The area was rich in the history of Ngati Oneone and Nga Kanohi.

“We are working together to provide a unique experience.

“Our website will incorporate all of those who are participating in the Tatapouri precinct.”

The purchase of the Tatapouri business comes after the sale of Kaiti Mall, which, with Mr Foon’s brother and wife, they had owned for 30 years.

Meanwhile the couple are experiencing their first summer at Tatapouri Motor Camp as owners.

That is a new experience for them.

“But we do know hospitality,” said Mr Foon.

MAYORAL couple Meng and Ying Foon have expressed their confidence in the Gisborne tourism industry, by becoming part of it.

They have big plans as the new owners of Tatapouri Motor Camp, including glamping tents, licensed facilities and the best of local produce and beverages available to patrons.

Mr Foon described Tatapouri as paradise, but their dream was to make the location even better by ‘‘repurposing’’ the site from camping to glamping.

“It’s flash camping,’’ said Mr Foon.

“It’s where the tent and bed is all ready for your enjoyment.’’

The log cabins, self-contained family cabins and tent sites will remain.

But Mr Foon said the site “lends itself to a glamping experience with hot tubs”.

“There are so many opportunities to camp and park up now for $2 and council car parks are free — so we have to do something different.”

“We are researching which glamping tents suit this area, as it can get very windy.

“A good bed, clean toilets and showers are the essentials for our guests’ glamping experience.”

Mr Foon said there was still much work to do and any suggestions from the public would be appreciated.

The couple are keen to host events, weddings, yoga and other wellness services and plan to lease the café/licensed facility.

‘‘There is keen interest from a number of local and national operators,’’ said Mr Foon.

“We want this facility to use and buy as much local produce and beverage as possible.

‘“We have it all here.

“I’m keen to celebrate and promote our local wines, juices, vegetables, fruit, honey, seafood, cider, and sheep milk.

“We will encourage the operator to provide a range of seafood.

“It will be a challenge.’’

The new-look facility is not yet completed with more infrastructure planned including water storage and treatment, more wastewater management and more access to electricity.

“But we do have to get resource consents.

‘‘That is no easy task.

“Even the mayor needs to follow rules.”

He has also investigated solar energy, a desalination plant, wind power and worm composting.

The two hectare site had “location, location, location”.

“Tatapouri is truly a paradise.

“It has a safe lagoon for kayaking.

“We have bought some see-through kayaks and they are a hit with our guests.

“Makorori and Wainui swim and surf beaches are just a few minutes south and Nga Tapuwae o Rongokako marine reserve is minutes north.

“Tatapouri has a positive feel.

“The mauri (spirit) is good and we have great neighbours — Pouawa 1A, Makorori Farms, owned by Robin and Richard Busby, Dive Tatapouri, Turihaua Station owned by Angela and Hamish Williams, Gisborne Tatapouri Sports Fishing Club and Ngati Porou Holdings.”

The area was rich in the history of Ngati Oneone and Nga Kanohi.

“We are working together to provide a unique experience.

“Our website will incorporate all of those who are participating in the Tatapouri precinct.”

The purchase of the Tatapouri business comes after the sale of Kaiti Mall, which, with Mr Foon’s brother and wife, they had owned for 30 years.

Meanwhile the couple are experiencing their first summer at Tatapouri Motor Camp as owners.

That is a new experience for them.

“But we do know hospitality,” said Mr Foon.

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