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Big management change at Motueka i-Site

March 28th, 2017
[by David Armstrong]

A management shakeup will see the Motueka i-Site managed by Nelson Regional Development Agency on a three-month trial to seek "a more sustainable business model".

The hard-working and popular manager for the past nine years, Lois Walker, finishes in her role on Friday, after deciding last year to resign after the summer season for "family reasons".

Her employer, Tasman Bay Promotions Association which owns i-Site, will "take this opportunity" to partner with NRDA until June, TBPA said in its latest newsletter.

"It is a quickly changing environment we work in and your TBPA committee has taken this opportunity to partner with NRDA over the three months from April to June, to investigate several strategic options for the future," it said. "A more sustainable business model is needed to secure our i-Site's future viability and while the partnership explores the benefits and detail of closer collaboration, it'll be business as usual for the Motueka team as they continue to deliver highly-rated services on your behalf."

TBPA will look to hire interim management services from Nelson to oversee operational matters, and will advise all its tourism industry members as soon they have finalised details of the most workable option.

The NRDA already manage the Nelson i-Site, so hopefully the transition will be fine. At the end of the three months either party can terminate the arrangement.

The future of Motueka i-Site (and others in the Tasman district) has been much questioned in recent years, with the advent and now commonplace use of the internet for tourism bookings of accommodation and activities.

Funding for the i-Site operation has also been removed by Tasman District Council.

Nevertheless, the local operation has been able to keep its head above water and remain profitable thanks to the dedication and skills of Lois and her staff.

"We've had choppy weather for activities, disruptive technologies such as Air B&B massively changing the accommodation scene, the loss of a morning bus service out of Motueka linking to the ferries and Christchurch and the second year without a grant from TDC," Lois wrote in the newsletter.

"Despite all the above, our fabulous team has still produced the second highest ever sales figure for the year to date and they thoroughly deserve our gratitude and your congratulations."

And Motueka thanks Lois for her unrelenting energy, strategic wisdom and management capabilities in promoting Motueka to visitors and providing a local community information hub over the past decade.

Comment by Miriam Lois Grattan:
[Posted 30 March 2017]

All the best to Lois and staff for their future and thanks for your hard work to date

Comment by Erena Griffen:
[Posted 30 March 2017]

The staff at Motueka I site are the best.. Best wishes for the future.

Comment by Sue Clark:
[Posted 30 March 2017]

Lois was an excellent manager of this facility and I am sorry to hear that she is leaving. Let's hope a workable/ profitable solution can be found for the future of the Motueka I-Site.

Comment by Beth Bryant:
[Posted 2 April 2017]

Lois has been very supportive of Motueka and provided leadership in many areas - eg. cycle-way. Thank you. Lois also organized for i-Site to donate money for the beautiful planting of the roundabout at the entrance way to Motueka. It was in a very ugly & untidy state before that. Thank you Lois.

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