October 13, 2021
Ngāi Tahu slowly reopening tourism businesses
Ngāi Tahu is looking to reopen the doors of its tourist attractions.
Tourism staff at the various Ngāi Tahu Holdings companies went from 348 to 39 at the start of the pandemic.
Chief executive Mike Pohio says it is gradually reopening, depending the individual circumstances of each attraction, and there are now over 100 tourism kaimahi.
He says despite the shock of being cut off from its international customers, the iwi was determined to grow its tourism portfolio, especially in areas where it can tell the Ngāi Tahu story.
“What you’ll see in future is a growth for example in guided walks, quite unique experiences you can share in this wonderful country we have,” Mr Pohio says.
Meanwhile, Ngai Tahu’s Agrodome in Rotorua is set to reopen just before Christmas – with new treats in the new year.
Jo Allison, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu’s general manager of corporate services, says it will start with two farm tours a day and one sheep show.
Once new general manager David Blackmore comes on in January, after several years managing another Rotorua area attraction, the Waimangu Thermal Valley, the 50-year-old farm park will staff adding to its menu of shearing, baby animals and dog trials.
These could include show jumping, western riding, woodchopping, honey spinning and more.
“We want to give manuhiri an insight into how and where their food is grown and produced, and a chance to buy local premium products. There will also be a focus on what sustainable carbon neutral agriculture can look like,” Ms Allison says.