Air New Zealand Board engage with Rotorua tourism leaders

May 2, 2024 |

The karanga and haka pōhiri sang out across Rotowhio Marae yesterday morning as Te Puia | New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute welcomed the Board of Araraurangi | Air New Zealand.

The Araraurangi | Air New Zealand Board visits a couple of regions around Aotearoa each year to engage with local stakeholders, listen to perspectives and to provide leadership support.

Te Puia | NZMACI and the Rotorua industry welcoming Araraurangi | Air New Zealand in Te Aronui-ā-Rua wharenui at Te Puia.

Te Puia chief executive Tim Cossar said it was a privilege to host the haka pōhiri, the tourism leaders business breakfast and to guide the Board around Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley and the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute.

“The Board spoke about there being a special wairua to the morning and you could feel it. We appreciated having the opportunity to acknowledge Air New Zealand and the critical role it plays in New Zealand’s tourism infrastructure – both inbound and domestically.

“We also had long-term strategic conversations about the future of Rotorua and air connectivity.”

Air New Zealand Board chair Dame Therese Walsh said a mihi acknowledging tangata whenua and her te reo Māori journey.

Air New Zealand Board chair Dame Therese Walsh said a mihi acknowledging tangata whenua and her te reo Māori journey.

“It’s so lovely to be welcomed here today. It’s very special to be a kiwi in this place – I’m currently trying to learn the language and I love being here in this environment with you and feeling the wairua.

“For us at Araraurangi, it’s important for us to get out across the country and not to just be based in a Board Room in Auckland. To understand where our business affects this country.

“Coming to Rotorua is really important to us – this is such a special place, it reflects who we are as people, it draws tourists, it draws Kiwi’s, and we’ve had a long-standing relationship for decades.

Dame Walsh said she was excited to discuss Araraurangi’s relationship with the region and how to grow it over future years. She also gave an overview of international tourism insights.

Araraurangi | Air New Zealand’s Board Chair Dame Therese Walsh speaks with New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute Pou Taahu Te Waata Cribb and General Manager Eraia Kiel in Āhua Gallery where tauira (students) of NZMACI wānanga display their work.

“Tourism is coming back slowly, but it is returning. China is a bit slower, but it is developing.

“I’ve just been with the Prime Minister in South-East Asia on his delegation through Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines and it was apparent that those markets are starting to come back and they are starting to think about tourism flows both ways. When we were there, we had many engagements and Māori culture was at the forefront of everything we did. In your heart you can feel it, it’s how we identify as a country – it is so special to everyone who gets to experience it and it makes you feel really proud.

“It’s a really special time for us to engage with you – Rotorua, Te Puia and the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute – we acknowledge all the beautiful work you do here and the way you champion our country and our culture.

“A deep, grateful thank you from us for this welcome and for the time we’re spending together today,” she said.

There were 32 business people that attended the breakfast at Pātaka Kai Restaurant at Te Puia including Rotorua NZ, Wai Ariki Hot Springs & Spa, Multi-Day Adventures, Hell’s Gate, Rotorua Canopy Tours, Mitai Māori Village, Regent Rotorua, Pullman Rotorua, Rydges Rotorua, Jetpark Hotel and Holdens Bay Holiday Park.