Chairman's Report


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Tai Tokerau Maori & Cultural Tourism Association Inc
FOR  2005/ 2006


2005/06 has presented the Board with challenges and opportunities in its pursuit of the Associationís mission to foster the development of a network of Maori and cultural tourism operators and associated stakeholders in Tai Tokerau for their mutual support, sustainable development and the wider socio-economic benefit of Tai Tokerau.

Again, the Board has been guided by the Tai Tokerau Tourism Strategic Plan 2003-2006 and has addressed itself to the promotion of the interests of the region and the nation through the promotion of the Associationís membersí products & services by:

  1. Developing the Business Capabilities Of Maori & Cultural Tourism Operators

  2. Developing of Customer Focused Products & Services

  3. Promoting Maori & Cultural Products & Services

  4. Developing Strategic Partnerships

1.  Developing Tourism Operator Business Capabilities

1.1 Planning for Maori & Cultural Tourism Development

The Board put considerable effort into reviewing the current Tai Tokerau Tourism Strategic Plan and completed an updated plan to guide future development for the period 2006-2009.

In undertaking the review, the Board completed:

  • A scoping of international and national trends in tourism
  • A scoping of regional trends in tourism
  • A review of member tourism business development.

Among other things the resulting strategy highlighted three important functions for the Association for the period 2006 to 2009, viz:

  • Providing strategic advice to government and the industry on the development of Maori & cultural tourism in Tai Tokerau
  • Assisting government and industry organisation engagement with member Maori & cultural tourism operators
  • Collaborating in projects that reinforce regional differentiation of Tai Tokerau.


1.2 Operation of the Association

The successful operation of the Association has been attributable to the governance exercised by the Board members and the implementation of agreed priorities by volunteer and contract services.

The Board met on XX occasions during 2005/06 and continued its practice of meeting at different locations throughout Tai Tokerau including Russell, Whangarei, Kerikeri, Kaikohe and Auckland.

Board members have also participated in other tourism forum including:

  • Northland Tourism Development Group and associated subcommittees
  • New Zealand Maori Tourism Council meetings.

Board members continued to volunteer their time in attending all Board meetings and representing the Association.

It has been pleasing to see the Associationís continued achievement in attaining unqualified audits and it is important to acknowledge the important role performed by Lorraine Hill as the Associationís Secretary/Treasurer.


Supporting the Development of Good Business Practice

Earlier investigative work completed by the Board showed Tai Tokerau Tourism SMEs as being highly committed and passionate about their businesses but often lacking important ingredients of good business practice.

As a consequence the Board supported businesses to access professional advice and training from BIZ Northland and mentoring services from other organisations including the Maori Business Facilitation services.

The Board also continued to support and advocate to Tai Tokerau Tourism SMEs the importance of attending specialist tourism workshops organised by Destination Northland in conjunction TNZ, TIANZ and the Ministry of Tourism.


Enabling the Effective Use of Information Technology

The Associationís computer loan system continued to operate but effectively completed its usefulness as the computers passed their use-by date. Fortunately this did not pose an inconvenience as all members appeared to have access to their own home/business computers.

2. Developing of Customer Focused Products & Services

Accessing Visitor Information

The need for member operators to access systematically collected visitor data & associated analysis for informing product development and service delivery continued to be a point of focus for the Board.

Following the successful pilot research project completed with a tertiary student studying the Bachelor of Tourism Management at Waiariki Institute Of Technology, the Board continued R&D work with Northland Polytechnic to advance the development of programmes to enable businesses to perform more efficient analysis of visitor data.

A workshop "Untapped Silver" was completed in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism to enable tourism businesses to tap into the wealth of information available in core tourism datasets.


Research into Maori Tourism

The Board commenced the development of a database into Maori tourism in Tai Tokerau. This initiative has been undertaken in consultation with the New Zealand Maori Tourism Council which has accorded the establishment of a centralised database as a priority consideration for Maori tourism in New Zealand.


Tai Tokerau Regional Matariki Festival

The Board remained convinced that Maori festivals are important to the continued development of international and domestic markets.

Consequently, the Board again championed the establishment of the Tai Tokerau Regional Matariki Festival. The festival was widely judged an unqualified success with excellent support being provided by Northland Arts Promotion Trust and Destination Northland. Some 50 events were held by a wide range of community groups and organisations throughout Tai Tokerau Ė a 100% increase on the number of events held in the inaugural festival in 2004/05.

3. Promoting Maori & Cultural Products & Services

Tai Tokerau Tourism Website

The Board has continued to expand on and develop the Associationís website which is the most advanced site for the promotion of Maori culture and Maori tourism in Tai Tokerau.

In a wider context the Association promoted all members with products to domestic and international tourism markets by either linking to their own established websites or by providing a feature page on the Associationís website.

The Association website has enhanced the public profile of the Association as well its capacity to attract new members, promote events/festivals and develop positive business relationships with future potential partners & sponsors.

Among the achievements this year has been the development of the Associationís web-based promotion of an expanded Matariki programme and the Maori Travel Guide to Tai Tokerau. These were in addition to the travel Planner, which promoted itineraries based on absolute luxury tours, mid-range tours, budget tours and off the beaten track tours.

TRENZ 2005

The prohibitive costs continue to limit most individual Tai Tokerau Maori tourism operators from attending TRENZ. In these circumstances, the Board continued to proactively promote all export ready member operators at TRENZ 2005. The principal promotional collateral used was a CD which featured elements of the Association website including travel planner, 12 suggested itineraries, link to the website and the Matariki page. In addition, some 22 member operators provided brochures which were promoted at TRENZ.

A total of 100 interviews were conducted with buyers by 3 Association delegates. All

Buyers were given a copy of the CD.

The Board again assisted one export-ready member operator to attend TRENZ as an Association delegate, in order to gain first hand experience of the operation and the business opportunities available at TRENZ.


Advertising spend was directed toward supporting Destination Northlandís production of the Northland Visitor Guide and the Northland Trade Guide.

Collaboration with i-SITES

The Board was successful in obtaining funding support from ASB Trust to enable the Association to initiate a promotional project in conjunction with Tai Tokerau i-Sites.

The project aims to increase visitor awareness of Tangata Whenua and the opportunities available for visitors to meet with Maori that operated tourism businesses.

This project was also supported by the NZ Maori Tourism Council and VIN Inc.

Maori Travel Guide to the Tail of the Fish

The Board achieved a national first in the production and distribution of the regional Maori Travel Guide to the Tail of The Fish.

This was undertaken as a pilot project to assess the potential to:

  • Reinforce regional differentiation of Tamaki Makaurau and Tai Tokerau as destination regions through sharing of Maori traditions.
  • Provide increased opportunity for engagement of domestic and international markets with Maori tourism operators. This focused on the effectiveness of the industry and the book trade to facilitate market access to the Maori Travel Guide
  • Generate revenue for further MRTO reinvestment in the promoting their region based on Maori traditions
  • Generate Revenue for other MRTO investment

The pilot was successfully completed and produced key learning not only for Tai Tokerau but also for other MRTOs throughout New Zealand.

Maori Regional Tourism Advocacy

The Association operated as the Maori Regional Tourism Organisation (MRTO) for Tai Tokerau and is one of the thirteen MRTOs that currently cover New Zealand.

I was nominated by the Board to serve as one of the Councillors on the New Zealand Maori Tourism Council and was duly elected by all member MRTOs. I was subsequently elected to Chairman of the Council.

The Associationís CEO, Johnny Edmonds, was contracted by the New Zealand Maori Tourism Council to coordinate the operation of the NZ Maori Tourism Council.

Centralised Online Booking System

The Associationís initiatives with the development of the website and the Travel Planner enabled the Board to look at further added value services for the promotion of membersí products & services. The Board commenced the development of the online, centralised booking system for memberís products & services in collaboration with Bookit Ltd. The system is expected to go fully operational during 2006.


4.  Developing Strategic Relationships

Northland Regional Organisations

The Board has actively participated in programmes in support of both Enterprise Northland and Destination Northland. In doing so, members of the Board have served on a number of regional tourism advisory committees including the Tourism Development Group, Seasonality Subcommittee, Infrastructure Subcommittee, Training & Qualmark Subcommittee, Cultural Tourism Working Group, Museum Sector Steering Group and the Sustainable Development Subcommittee.

Other regional strategic relationships have been developed with the Northland Arts Promotion Trust, BIZ Northland and Te Puni Kokiri.

National Organisations

Board members also represented Maori tourism on National advisory committees & working groups including the Ministerial Small Business Advisory Group, ATTTO tourism training Council, National Services Te Paerangi, and NZQA Whakaruruhau.


It has been another progressive and exciting year with much achieved. This would not have been possible without the cooperation of a range of Government and Non-Government organisations.

However, again our greatest resource is the people working within the Association. I wish to acknowledge the invaluable contribution made by my fellow Board members, Lorraine Hill, Alan Dawn, Chris Kira and Kara Dodson; our Chief Executive Officer, Johnny Edmonds and marketing coordinator, Tania Harris.

It is with some regret that the CEO services of Johnny Edmonds will now end but I remain confident that Johnny will continue to be available to provide advice to the Board from time to time.

Tourism remains a dynamic industry, evolving to meet the needs of visitors in an ever-changing operating environment.

I am confident that Board will be up to the task and look forward to another positive year.

Noho ora mai,

Peter Kitchen
Tai Tokerau Tourism

20 June 2006.


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