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Forum 2008

Embracing Economic Development

Thursday 25 September

Rotorua Convention Centre - Concert Chamber


It was evident from the outset that parochialism is alive and well in Rotorua.  The First class forum delivered both a question of how Rotorua should work together to form a common vision and provided a solution to how we need to ‘Gear’ ourselves up for trans-Tasman capability both by sea and air.

The home truths of having to upgrade and deliver first class service levels was evident from the diametric change that Queenstown retail and hospitality had to undertake when they commenced trans-Tasman services in 1998.

Customers expect high level service and will want to shop (spend money) at extraordinary times.   Remember there are 4000 plus visitors wanting to get into your shop that are holed up in motels/hotels every single night a year in Rotorua.

A paradigm shift in the way we as a city operates is needed.  If we truly want international recognition, then we truly need to change. To quote Miles Wilson (Canterbury of Queenstown)…

“The customers are afluent, sophisticated, confident, demanding, but fun.  They are in a hurry but relaxed, they want it now, in their time.  They have a high disposable income, high proclivity to spend, they want to engage with community/culture and lastly, they are presumptuous – take high service levels for granted.”

If this means changing opening hours of designated precincts that serve the needs of the tourist market then this must happen.  Miles noted their opening hours were 8am~8.30pm in the winter and 10am~11pm in the summer. 

Obviously it would be nonsensical to open one shop for these hours; at least a strip of shops would need to focus on delivering both the product and the service hours the market required.

Training in customer service excellence is an obvious.  There must be consistency in delivery and experience offered the customer.  As Miles noted, cherish & love your customer more than your children as unlike your children, you’ve never seen them before and you’ll never see them again.  And unlike your children, your customer feeds you!!

A final summation, this is our opportunity to provide excellence.  Excellence is not some thing new but it has to be learned, practised and delivered.

First Class was first class, now let’s deliver.

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle…



e-ticket Click to Download Reader 

Programme Click to Download Reader

Rotorua International Airport (George White) Click to Download Reader

KiaOra (Renee Nathan & Doug Tamaki)Click to Download Reader 

PresentationsRotorua presentation Tony Smith(Cruise Ship Market) Click to Download Reader

Rotorua presentation Miles Wilson (Queenstown perspective) Click to Download Reader

Serving the International Markets (Tim Hunter - Tourism New Zealand)Click to Download Reader

TIANZ PRESENTATION Click to Download Reader  (




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