PRESS RELEASE: Ruapehu District Council
Two milestone events in support of Ruapehu business development and Council’s goal of increasing jobs, incomes and opportunities took place at the Chateau Tongariro Hotel last week.
The first was the official launch of Visit Ruapehu’s new regional brand – ‘Our Greater Outdoors’ that was followed by a special workshop to discuss the potential for establishing a Ruapehu Chamber of Commerce.
Visit Ruapehu Trade and Marketing Manager Jo Kennedy said that there was a lot of excitement around the new regional branding which was jointly funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and developed with input from leading tourism experts, local operators and community partners such as iwi.
“We now have strong, authentic brand marketing and communications material that will help enable tourism and visitor services to maximise its contribution to sustainable regional growth,” she said.
“Although the new brand was developed by the Ruapehu tourism and visitor sector it is available to other businesses wanting to give a regional context to their operations, products or service.”
“We now have the opportunity to align all Ruapehu, regional partners and other stakeholders to speak with one united vision and voice to promote our region.”
Around 25 people representing Ruapehu business including; farming, iwi, tourism, hospitality, consulting, utility companies, government agencies, manufacturing and small business took part take part in a workshop to discuss how a local Ruapehu Chamber could help support and inspire local business vitality and success.
Special guests at the workshop were Michael Barnett, Chief Executive of the Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Amanda Linsley, Chief Executive of the Manawatu Chamber of Commerce.
The workshop discussion highlighted that there was a strong consensus that a collective business voice could add value and help influence a wide range of Ruapehu issues that are challenging the business sector.
Mr. Barnett stressed the importance of Ruapehu businesses getting the “why” (we are doing it) right before focusing on the “what” (a Chamber could do).
“A key question is whether a local Chamber of Commerce is needed or whether another structure such as a Business Forum or some other arrangement would best suit Ruapehu’s needs,” he said.
Workshop participants agreed that they would consider the questions raised during the workshop over the summer before reconvening early in the New Year.