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The Kaikōura i-SITE is governed by an independent board, The Kaikōura Information and Tourism Incorporated (KITI) which is association that is overseeing the Kaikōura i-SITE Visitor Information Centre functions and finances. 

 

KITI consists of 10 voluntary board members elected by the Kaikōura i-SITE financial members and are nominated a term of 2 years. The board members are currently: Lynette Buurman (Chairperson), Chris Sturgeon (Deputy), Daniel Stevenson, Janice Dreaver, Joanne James, Matt Foy, Neroli Gold, Paul Finney and Council Elected Board Members: Julie Howden & Lisa Bond. 

 

This passionate group of tourism and business professionals are generous with their time in assisting the Destination Kaikoura and I-site team to progress the key tourism messages for the region, and supporting the work of the RTO.  Regional Tourism New Zealand (RTNZ) is a membership based and funded organisation representing the interests of all Regional Tourism Organisations throughout the country.

 

RTO’s play an invaluable role in the development of their regions, taking a holistic approach to planning for and sustainably growing the visitor economy. They are the organisations tasked with managing tourism and its opportunities and impacts for the benefit of their communities and marketing the destination to build the visitation and the experiences available to visitors (and locals) in that region in a sustainable way. This translates into greater prosperity for all.

 

 

Lynette Buurman (Chairperson) 

I have been involved in tourism in Kaikōura for 25 years in the role of co-owner of Encounter Kaikōura, a multifaceted business comprising two eco tours, Dolphin Encounter and Albatross Encounter, a beachfront café, gift store and a small meeting venue. It has been an inspiration over the years to see Kaikōura mature as a tourism destination in its own right offering an ever expanding range of local visitor experiences, while retaining our uniqueness as a beautiful coastal town. I enjoy the opportunity to support the ongoing development of the destination as a member of a dedicated and very enthusiastic team.

 

 

 

Chris Sturgeon (Deputy) 

My wife Fiona and I moved to Kaikōura 14 years ago to establish an artisan business and residential cooking school, named Hapuku Kitchen. During that process we met Tony Wilson and agreed together to take on Hapuku Lodge & Tree houses as General Manager & Executive Chef which has now developed into one of NZ’s leading Luxury Lodges. 

I spent many years in corporate life in Wellington, within finance and banking where I completed my MBA and I continue to operate a business redevelopment and transformation consulting company. I believe I bring many years of business and commercial expertise along with very strong advocacy skills and tourism connections to the board table. I also am pleased to be able to champion Kaikōura through my network achieved during my tenure as Chair of Luxury Lodges of NZ. 

I have a real passion for Kaikōura and have had the privilege of traveling internationally promoting Hapuku Lodge and as a direct result also promoting Kaikōura. I firmly believe to bring tourists into any business you must first sell them on the local community, its people, its culture together with the environment before considering any individual property or business. This approach was so beneficial immediately after the 2016 Earthquake as we went back out to the country & the world to convince the tourism industry to continue to support us. 

I am delighted to work alongside other passionate members of the board and working to promote our small part of paradise. 

 

 

 

Daniel Stevenson 

Daniel Stevenson is the owner and operator of South Pacific Helicopters and Wings Over Whales. He arrived in Kaikōura in 2004 and started working as a pilot taking people on scenic and whale watching flights and quickly fell in love with the town. He furthered his helicopter experience overseas from 2007 onward, but always wanted to return to the beauty of Kaikōura. 

In 2016 the opportunity arose for Daniel and his family to purchase their dream business, so Dan and his wife Monique decided to move the family down to Kaikōura.   This was of course when the earthquake struck and the business became an integral part of the recovery, re-build and relocation of tourists in a time of great need.  Daniel and his team share a passion for exploring and evolving Kaikōura as a key tourism town and helping promote the town as a premier year-round destination. 

 

 

 

 

 

Joanne James 

Joanne James together with partner Brad, arrived in Kaikōura eight years ago to start a new adventure running a beachfront motel and looking after visitors to the region.  Joanne is very involved with the community here in Kaikōura and tells us she and Brad have loved every minute of their time here, their favourite time of day the morning when they are enjoying their coffee looking out to the ever changing seascape. 

Jo brings a background in both Hospitality and Retail to the board.  She worked for Michael Hill as a manager for 10 years all over NZ and learned so much about business, managing people and sales through this iconic NZ company.  This she feels has set her up very well both for running her own motel business and being able to look at other businesses with an open mind & a board perspective. 

Jo says “I am looking forward to working with the other Board Members to grow i-SITE Kaikōura and staff to make Kaikōura even more interesting for tourists to come and visit.” 

 

 

 

 

Matt Foy 

Matt studied Adventure Tourism at the Outdoor Pursuit Centre of NZ (OPC) 1994.  Matt has been innovative and heavily involved with Adventure Tourism ever since, bringing both a Domestic and International focus.  Matt moved to Kaikōura in 1998 to establish “Kaikōura Kayaks” which has grown significantly over the past 20 years and won numerous awards including number 1# Activity in Kaikōura on TripAdvisor.  He has been a KITI member since 1999 and strong supporter of the Kaikōura i-SITE developing a great working relationship with the wider tourism Industry.   Matt was instrumental in spearheading a tourism movement in the aftermath of the November 2016 Earthquake, including the “Hope Springs” discovery of the Kaikōura Peninsula.  

Matt tells us he is invested in actively promoting Kaikōura Tourism and passionate about our little seaside town.   Matt’s business was the host operator of the World famous Occy Slap video shared by Go Pro and others, he instigated the viral spread of this content of a seal slapping his Octopus meal on a kayakers face, which had the spotlight on Kaikōura globally! 

 

 

 

Julie Howden

I have been a council representative on the KITI board for 5 years. I own and operate Bendamere House B&B so I enjoy the role I have as tourism is my main interest. KITI and Destination Kaikōura have played a huge part in the promotion both domestically and internationally of our beautiful town and I feel there are exciting and prosperous times ahead.  

My role as Deputy Mayor also brings an integral link between Kaikōura District Council and KITI as council is our main funder for Destination Kaikōura and taking our town to the world. I encourage all Kaikōura businesses whether Retail, Activities or Accommodation to support the pivotal role we take in building our town and making your business grow. 

 

 

 

Lisa Bond 

I have worked at Whale Watch Kaikōura for the past 25 years, over my time with the company I have built up a wealth of specialist knowledge and am familiar with the development of Whale Watch from its humble beginnings through to its thriving success today. I have a huge passion for Kaikōura as a destination and a great understanding of the tourism industry both on a domestic and international level. It is a honour to be a member on the board alongside other passionate people of this place we all proudly call home. 

 

 

 

 

Paul Finney

Otherwise known as Finney, I have a background in tourism from an early age working in hotels and campsites in Europe.  I studied Tourism and Business at university.   I moved to NZ in 2007 and worked for various corporates, my last being the House of Travel as a business analyst.  I left that job to start a homebrew shop, which my wife and I sold in 2016 when we moved to Kaikōura, motivated by having found the site to put our brewery, Emporium Brewing.  In addition to the brewery experience we have a 18 hole mini golf course and 2 escape rooms and soon to add a bar. We’ve been a member of KITI ever since we moved to Kaikōura and are really excited to see where the town will go over the next few years, go Kaikōura!

 

 

 

Neroli Gold

Kia ora, I am excited to be returning to the Board after a break to maximise opportunities and growth in our own business, Spey Creek.  Kaikōura called to me over 22 years ago when I made the move from Marlborough to set up Kaikōura Winery. The spark of Kaikōura still ignites me and I love sharing our uniqueness, our beautiful land and seascapes and the bounty of our region with others.

Within our own company we market direct into the North American market so we actively sell New Zealand and Kaikōura as an amazing destination to all our clients. An easy sell it is indeed! The capacity for Kaikōura to grow its visitor base with event based tourism is really exciting to me and I look forward to working with the rest of the board and the i-SITE staff to achieve growth in this area.  Diversifying our product range and increasing capacity to be a year round destination, is a must!

Kia ora, I am excited to be returning to the Board after a break to maximise opportunities and growth in our own business, Spey Creek.  Kaikōura called to me over 22 years ago when I made the move from Marlborough to set up Kaikōura Winery. The spark of Kaikōura still ignites me and I love sharing our uniqueness, our beautiful land and seascapes and the bounty of our region with others.

Within our own company we market direct into the North American market so we actively sell New Zealand and Kaikōura as an amazing destination to all our clients. An easy sell it is indeed! The capacity for Kaikōura to grow its visitor base with event based tourism is really exciting to me and I look forward to working with the rest of the board and the i-SITE staff to achieve growth in this area.  Diversifying our product range and increasing capacity to be a year round destination, is a must!

Janice Dreaver

Janice is totally involved in the community on various boards and committees. “I love that I can give the best of my time, professionalism, expertise and energy into helping make a difference within the exciting future and planning Kaikōura has within tourism.” Janice brings a wealth of business and event experience to the board.

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