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Ngai Tahu Tourism announces large hibernation, redundancies

Ngai Tahu Tourism has announced that most of their tourism business have gone into temporary hibernation following the effects of COVID-19.

In a media release issued today, Ngai Tahu says Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters and the construction of their yet-to-launch All Blacks Experience in Auckland will continue, but remaining businesses have gone into hibernation for the time being.

These tourism businesses include Agrodome, Dark Sky Project, Dart River Adventures, Franz Josef Glacier Guides, Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools, Guided Walks New Zealand, Hukafalls Jet, Rainbow Springs, Shotover Jet and Vantage Helicopters.

This has also led to the reduction of kaimahi (employees) from 348 to just 39 – a reduction of 309 employees.

“The remaining team will protect and maintain our valuable assets and wildlife during the hibernation period and look towards the potential for growing business once the industry improves,” the joint statement published by chief executive of NgƒÅi Tahu Holdings Mike Pohio and Kaiwhakahaere (chair) of Te R≈´nanga o NgƒÅi Tahu Lisa Tumahai says.

“Most impacted kaimahi will finish with us during June or July.

“This has been an extremely difficult decision, but unfortunately the impacts of COVID-19 are devastatingly deep and far-reaching. As a result, we expect to write off the equivalent of the last five years of NgƒÅi Tahu Tourism profits. Even if the domestic market soon picks up, it will not be enough to sustain our current operations or staffing.

“Our job now is to adapt our portfolio of tourism assets for an industry that will be undoubtedly different in light of this virus, but still filled with opportunities in the months and years ahead. With this in mind, we have retained the key capabilities we need so we are able to reopen at least to the domestic market when conditions permit, starting with Shotover Jet and Hukafalls Jet.

“We want to reiterate that NgƒÅi Tahu remains deeply committed to the permanence and health of the tourism industry in Aotearoa. We know we can get through this period and, in time, bring manuhiri back to this country to experience our manaakitanga. We are confident that we’re taking the necessary steps to ensure the future viability of our tourism portfolio.

“It is paramount Tourism, alongside the rest of Te R≈´nanga o NgƒÅi Tahu Group, emerges from COVID-19 well-positioned to continue serving the best interests of NgƒÅi Tahu whƒÅnau. These steps have been taken with our ultimate goal in mind: M≈ç tƒÅtou, ƒÅ, m≈ç kƒÅ uri ƒÅ muri ake nei.

“We are grateful to our NgƒÅi Tahu Tourism kaimahi for their high level of engagement, professionalism, and understanding throughout this challenging time. We greatly value the contribution they have made to the organisation and to the iwi, and to have reached this outcome is truly devastating. We are continuing to do everything we can to support them through this period.”

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