Supporting the Development of Good Business
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
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
Enabling the Effective Use of Information
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.
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
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
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
Maori & Cultural Products & Services
Tai Tokerau Tourism Website
The Board has continued to expand on and
develop the Associationís website www.taitokerau.co.nz
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
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
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
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
Generate revenue for further MRTO reinvestment in
the promoting their region based on Maori
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
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
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.
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.
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,
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
I am confident that Board will be up to the
task and look forward to another positive year.
Noho ora mai,
Tai Tokerau Tourism
20 June 2006.