The Central Hawke’s Bay Council is working to keep visitor information services operating in Central Hawke’s Bay, following a decision from CHB Promotion Members to liquidate the association at its Annual General Meeting on 11 March, 2019.
In June 2018, a 12-month agreement was negotiated with CHB Promotions to allow Council to explore opportunities on how visitor information services could best be provided to continue to boost visitor numbers to Central Hawke’s Bay. This work includes exploring opportunities identified by the community during Project Thrive and other projects underway including Nga Ara Tipuna – a unique project being led by te Taiwhenua o Tamatea to recognise the presence of pa and other sites of significance in Central Hawke’s Bay.
During the renegotiation, Hawke’s Bay Tourism were also engaged directly by Council instead of through CHB Promotions, to operate at a more strategic level. This change is already paying-off, evident with strong recent visitor spend growth and successful new promotions such as the Central Hawke’s Bay 60 days of summer campaign.
At the CHB Promotions December Annual General Meeting a quorum could not be achieved and none of the Board sought re-election nor were any new nominations received. Following this CHB Promotions sought guidance from Council on its intentions for the visitor information centre long term. Council gave notice that based on CHB Promotions current situation and not wanting to pre-empt the work on the future of visitor information services that a new contract would not be provided beyond 30 June. Council has worked proactively with CHB Promotions since this time, to ensure that visitor information services and staff are not compromised as a result of CHB Promotions changes.
“Keeping visitor information services operating for Central Hawke’s Bay is very much front of mind for us”, says Doug Tate Group Manager Customer and Community Partnerships. “Tourism is a buoyant and growing area of economic development in Central Hawke’s Bay that needs our continued focus. Our thanks go to the CHB Board for their leadership and untold hours of voluntary work they have given to our community – it’s a thankless job”.
At this time, it is proposed that the current staff will transfer to Council along with the overall lease of the railway station - if the motion to ‘wind-up’ CHB Promotions is upheld at a second special general meeting to be held within 30 days of the 11 April Annual General Meeting.
Authorised by Chief Executive: Monique Davidson
18 March 2019
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