Tourism Industry News

News from NZ Māori Tourism and Māori tourism experiences around Aotearoa New Zealand

Changes at NZ Māori Tourism

Tēnā koutou katoa, he mihi mahana tēnei ki a koutou.

We hope that the seeds are sprouting in the garden as we prepare for the long summer ahead. Let’s hope it is just as good as last year’s turned out to be.

Of course, with spring brings disruptive winds and cold snaps as Tāwhirimatea and Papatūānuku work together to prepare the next generation.

It’s a time of change and new beginnings, and here at New Zealand Māori Tourism, we are no exception.

As such, we are announcing that our Director of Regions, Simon Phillips, will be bringing his four-year tenure with New Zealand Māori Tourism to a close.

However, he will continue to lead the data effort for New Zealand Māori Tourism, a project he has headed over the last 18 months.

Simon’s last day in the office will be 25 October as he embarks on a new and promising adventure with Tourism Bay of Plenty.

Simon’s new role as Kaihautū – Māori Economy will see him working with iwi and Māori businesses throughout Te Moana-a-Toi (Bay of Plenty), commencing 29 October.

Simon was an integral asset to our team. He was passionate and determined about start-up businesses, working closely with regional Māori tourism businesses and iwi.

His knowledge, energy, and empathy, not only of tourism and Māori economic development but also sports and more specifically rugby league and basketball, will be greatly missed by everyone in our office - even those who he found himself in heated debates with over the outcome of a game.
We wish Simon all the best in his new endeavors with Tourism Bay of Plenty.

At the same time, we are delighted to announce we have two new staff members on our team.

Rakaitemania Parata Gardiner has taken on the newly established role as policy adviser. This is a new role that will see our work further embedded into policy strategies to better serve the Māori tourism sector.

Dani McDonald has taken on communications, as Amy Hodgkinson moves fully into events planning. In the next few weeks you’ll receive our rebranded newsletter with more stories and photos from around the motu. She is also working on a spruce up of our website, so watch this space.
You can find out more about Rakaitemania and Dani in our first newsletter, coming out 1 November.

We are so excited to have these two young women on board with us, bringing with them fresh ideas and enthusiasm.

If you would like to remain in contact with Simon, he is contactable via LinkedIn. For any further enquiries, please contact our Chief Advisor Hoki-mai Chong at

Nāku noa, nā

Pania Tyson-Nathan
Chief Executive
New Zealand Māori Tourism

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