2019 CONFERENCE AND AGM - Waitangi Golf Course

The conference and annual general meeting this year was held on 25 May at the Waitangi Golf Course, Bay Of Islands. The club rooms were well suited for our gathering in this prime position, overlooking the Bay Of Islands and far into the distance.

The Committee in 2019: Wilhelm Lehmberg (Chair), Lu Tyree (Financial Officer), Colin Mairs (Membership Secretary), Helen Tait (Association Secretary with the assistance of Lu). Ordinary Committee Members – Axel Knauer (dedicated Web Administrator) and Herbie Mues.

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Kelvin Davis and Committee
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The major focus of the pre-AGM conference was ‘be prepared’ with Sue Walke from ‘Walke and Talk’ in Napier provided the audience with recommendations for the best apps when it comes to emergency cases, and which are very useful to have them as a tour guide:

• AED Locations NZ
• St. John NZ
• Red Cross Hazards
• Met Service
• Geonet
• National Radio

Prominent guest speaker of the day was Labour MP and tourism minister Kelvin Davis. He believes the tourism sector should remain on the growth trajectory. “We have to bring tourism into the regions and develop a better destination management”, he said at the meeting, which was attended by over 40 tour and driver guides. An international visitor levy of NZ$ 35 will be one way to gather additional resources for managing the region. ProGuides has long lobbied for a levy like that, especially to fund the work of the department of conservation. Davis confirmed that 50% of the income of the levy will go to tourism and 50% to conservation.

“But it’s a number game”, argues PG chairperson Wilhelm Lehmberg. “We need solutions and ideas. The sustainability commitment needs teeth”, he says. “If you talk quality, then do quality and don’t just add up numbers. Make sure the more affluent market stays longer with more time to discover the regions. You minimize the environmental impact of flying by staying longer!” A press release by ProGuides NZ has been sent out to all relevant media and industry contacts.

The actual AGM was carried out in a relaxed atmosphere with no major issues. Chair, Financial Officer, Membership Secretary and Association Secretary were re-elected, as were two Ordinary Committee Members.

For dinner we sailed across the water to Russell, where we enjoyed scrumptious homemade food at the Swordfish Club in Russel. Although this is suitable for groups, you need to know someone who is club member for a visit. If you happen to do that, go for it. The club is wonderful and very Kiwiana.

Sunday was Famil day, filled with a variety of topics and stops. One of the most interesting facts that we learned was that New Zealand is on the brink of becoming an important banana exporter, at least the very far North.

Further details of the Famil days prior, during and after the conference can be found here: AGM 2019 by Doris Evans

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