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Tourism to Destination Coromandel

The following is the press release from Council today (Tuesday) on the future of Tourism Coromandel. This more or less confirms my post of 18 August, but provides us with the background on the three new directors (trustees) - John Sanford, Brent Page and Graeme Osborne:

Exciting future ahead for the tourism industry on the Coromandel

At the Tourism Coromandel Annual General Meeting on Friday, the first step will be taken to usher in a new and exciting future for the tourism industry on the Coromandel.

A proposal from the major funders, Hauraki and Thames-Coromandel District Councils, will be presented to the membership to dissolve Tourism Coromandel as a legal entity and to transfer its assets to a new trust called Destination Coromandel.

The new vision we have for Destination Coromandel is to refocus on the core business of destination marketing and to get more tourists here, spending more money.

At the same time, Council are also empowering Community Boards, Information Centres and local business groups to focus on event management and other local tourism initiatives to help Destination Coromandel grow yield and visitor numbers.

It's time to focus on the future so that we can take advantage of the opportunities before us.

New Directors bring a wealth of experience and opportunity to our district

The 3 new Directors of Destination Coromandel will be John Sandford (Chairman), Brent Page and Graeme Osborne.

Together, the new directors bring an unprecedented amount of experience and skill to the district and we are extremely lucky to have such high calibre individuals wanting to take on this challenge.

I have included a brief overview of the new Board below so you can appreciate the talent we have been able to secure for this most important task.

The Board will be tasked with the immediate review of our marketing direction, the management structure and in time, the review of the 2020 strategy.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this exciting new development, please contact me.

John Sandford - Chairman

John Sandford has a deep interest and experience in business and economic development, marketing and communications, leadership development and strategic planning.

Since mid-2006 he has been a Director and Advisor for companies including Jason’s Travel Media Ltd Auckland and Brisbane, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts and Rodney Forests Limited.

He is a mentor for Business Mentors NZ and the New Zealand Institute of Management.

Included among his previous commercial governance experience is trustee and board membership of North Shore City’s economic and business skills development unit, Enterprise North Shore.

He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and an accredited member of the Institute of Directors of NZ.

Brent Page

Brent Page started his career in sales and marketing and has built successful businesses with his ability to recognise the skill of individuals and unlock their potential through motivational captaincy.

He steered a campaign of mergers and acquisitions involving seven companies culminating in the formation of the country’s largest New Zealand-owned ICT/multimedia company, Connect NZ. Turnover increased from $8m to $42m during his tenure as CEO. He stepped down in 2009 but remains a shareholder and non-executive Director, enjoys travel and works on his 4.5 acre property with his partner Lise in Kuaotunu.

He has a passion for effective, pragmatic action and has many ideas for progressing the Coromandel through its tourism potential.

Graeme Osborne

With 10 years as CEO of Tourism Auckland, Graeme Osborne is an accomplished director with significant success in business strategy, refocus and recovery in the tourism sector.

He was Chief Executive during the development of the $20 million Kelly Tarlton Antarctic Encounter, GM at Rainbows End 1986 Ltd and GM for the US$20 million commissioning and opening of the Blue Zoo Beijing, which became one of the city’s Top 10 attractions in its first year.

A strong connection with iwi, he was a business mentor for Maori Tourism, led the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute from insolvency to record net profit in two years and is currently Director/Owner of the New Zealand Company Ltd.

They all appear on the surface to be well qualified, but the method of appointment leaves something to be desired. Just when and where were these positions advertised for what amounts to public office - the Board (Trust) is a public entity in terms of the proportion of funding provided by its two major shareholders - TCDC and HDC.

The Auditor General may question the procedure, but has proven to be a toothless tiger in the past. They will no doubt be well acquainted with the Mayor - he has been the driving force in achieving this new streamlined entity, but it will be interesting to see just how accountable it will be to the two Councils whose rate-payers are providing the funds for it to operate.

It is interesting to note that Mr Osborne already regards himself as a Director of Tourism Coromandel. Here is an extract from his entry on the LinkedIn social media site:


Tourism Coromandel

Leisure, Travel & Tourism industry

September 2011Present (1 month) Coromandel

The existing members who admittedly pay a nominal fee for the privilege have had no say in the appointments, nor the manner in which the organisation is to operate in the future. They are apparently expected to turn up to the AGM on Friday and applaud the changes in the manner reminiscent of what happens in a third world dictatorship.

It would not be at all surprising if those who fall intro this category simply boycott the rubber-stamping exercise that wil pass for a meeting, though no doubt the usual 'refreshments' will be available to contribute to post meeting bonhomie, and good fellowship.

In such ways are our rights eroded. I hope that there are sufficient members who feel moved to object before their rights are finally extinguised, and we set out on this "exciting" journey to an "exciting future". All this "excitement" is pretty hard to swallow, even for those who are mere spectators.




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Reader Comments (1)

Hi Bill,

I doubt that Tourism Coromandel's performance will improve until the position of Chief Executive of that organisation becomes subject to normal business practice by being declared vacant regularly with all comers invited to apply with the best candidate appointed.

With the current Chief Executive 'lodged' there permanently through god knows what process, we can only expect more of the same old nonsense dressed up as progress.

It is ironic to observe the great show of the Leach Council to subject the appointment of the Councils Chief Executive to proper process (and it is a only a show - Mr Ruru will be automatically re-appointed) while Tourism Coromandel's Chief Executive slips through the cracks without even a how-do-you-do!

Dal Minogue

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDal Minogue

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