From fire to water – Tekapo Springs celebrates 12th anniversary with community event and Australian bushfire family offer 

From fire to water – Tekapo Springs celebrates 12th anniversary with community event and Australian bushfire family offer 

A multi-award-winning Tekapo tourism operation business is celebrating 12 years in business with the launch of new attractions and a very special Australian bushfire relief package.

The horror stories that came out of the bushfire tragedy prompted Tekapo Springs to reach out to an Australian family that’s ‘lost everything’ with a collaborative package to take them from the fire-ravaged region to the peace and tranquillity of Tekapo.

The family has yet to be told, but their dream holiday will include return flights to Christchurch with Air New Zealand, a five-night accommodation package including Accor Hotels’ Peppers Bluewater hotel in Tekapo and a rental car from Thrifty.

Tekapo Springs has donated the return flights and activities at their complex, including the hot pools, day spa treatments and a tour with Tekapo Star Gazing.

Tekapo Jet, Mackenzie Alpine Horse Trekking, Christchurch Adventure Park, Christchurch Tramway Restaurant, Hassle Free Tours – Christchurch Hop On Hop Off Tour, KJet Queenstown and Ziptrek Ecotours have also offered activities.

Tekapo Springs’ sales and marketing manager Andy Murray says they’re “thrilled” with the response so far.

“We’re celebrating 12 years of having built a fantastic business in Tekapo so thought it was time to give back to our local and wider community,” he says.

“We know after having talked to Australian visitors who’ve lived through the fires just how much they appreciate getting away from it all, so we came up with this gorgeous family package. Along with the other businesses that have given so generously, we can’t wait to host them.”

The Australian relief package was announced this week as Tekapo Springs officially launched its fun new summer activities, the Jumpernaut and Aqua Drop waterslide.

Tekapo Springs was founded by Karl Burtscher, who still owns the company. It developed over the years to become a multi-award-winning, world-renowned and year-round tourism attraction featuring three hot pools, two cooler pools and an aqua play area, a day spa, a café and bar, steam and sauna rooms, unique stargazing products, and an ice rink and snow tube park.

It operates 364 days a year, employs up to 50 people and welcomes around 150,000 people a year.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved,” says Karl. “We’ve had an awesome summer as domestic tourism in New Zealand has been really strong, so we celebrated by having some fun, acknowledging our 12thbirthday milestone and giving back in the best way we can to our friends in Australia who’re having a hard time.”

Karl thanked the Albury Ice Hockey Club (now called Mackenzie Ice Hockey Club) as without their support and allowing the sale of the land, the Tekapo Springs complex of today would not exist.

“I also want to say a huge ‘thank you’ the local Tekapo and the wider Mackenzie community as without their support this would not have been possible,” he says.

Mackenzie district Mayor Graham Smith attended the birthday celebration along with Canterbury Cricket stars Chad Bowes and Cam Fletcher. The Mayor got into the spirit of things by racing the young cricketers on the Jumpernaut followed by a speed trial on the Aqua Drop, where speeds of 41km per hour were reached.

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The lights have been dimmed on Queenstown’s LUMA 

The lights have been dimmed on Queenstown’s LUMA 

The lights have been dimmed on Queenstown’s award-winning sensory experience LUMA.

Scheduled to return to the Queenstown Gardens for its fifth year of illuminated art, sculpture and performance on Queen’s Birthday Weekend, the LUMA team has made the heartbreaking decision to pull the plug on this year’s event.

The group of passionate individuals which make up the LUMA Light Festival Trust have spent the past ten months dreaming, planning, scheming and preparing for Queenstown’s award-winning arts and culture event.

LUMA Trust chairman Duncan Forsyth said they had been “crossing our fingers” that LUMA20 would be able to defy the Covid-19 odds and bring a ray of bright, colourful light to the start of June.

“Today the LUMA Light Festival Trust made the difficult decision to cancel for 2020 and focus our energy on looking after each other, our whanau, our businesses and the wider Queenstown community,” he said.

“This will enable us to return brighter than ever in 2021. It’s a huge blow to our family of artists, partners, fellow instigators and funders. We’d like to take this chance to sincerely thank everyone who’s been part of the LUMA story so far.

“This is the beginning of the next chapter and we aim to begin working on LUMA21 as soon as the time feels right for us and the wider community.”

Duncan said discussions were already underway with major funders to agree on a rollover plan for 2021.

“The government’s decision to impose restrictions on incoming visitors and more recently, to discourage large gatherings, is the right one and we fully support it. Every effort must be made to slow down the spread of the virus and give our health system a chance to minimise harm to all New Zealanders.

“We’re fortunate to live in a community which knows how to look after people and it’s our shared responsibility to care for one another and above all stay safe.”

For further media information or high res images please contact:
Mandy Cooper
E: [email protected]
M: 0273377907

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Fixed or variable commercial rent – cool heads called for

Fixed or variable commercial rent – cool heads called for

As thousands of businesses enter uncharted waters post Covid-19, one of New Zealand’s most experienced property, tourism, hospitality, and business experts is calling for cool heads over coming months.

Adrian Chisholm, founder of New Zealand-wide business, says landlords and businesses need to work together in good faith to help stem the tide of closures and redundancies.

Advocating some “good old-fashioned common sense and sensible solutions”, the Queenstown-based businessman is speaking from 45 years of previous ownership of a wide range of tourism businesses and as a former landlord and tenant.

But currently without a foot in either camp, his independent ‘helicopter view’ of current woes advocates that commercial landlords and tenants may need to accept that rent is no longer a fixed but a variable cost for the foreseeable future.

“They need to accept they’re ‘joined at the hip’ and allow common sense to prevail,” he says. “In my opinion the solution is to adopt a Variable Rent Programme (VRP).

“Within 72 hours, tourism-related businesses went from being on steroids to full cardiac arrest. For commercial tenants, strangled by rental obligations in an environment where there’s no income, the outcome is obvious and disastrous.

“On the face of it the landlord may be protected by rental obligations and personal guarantees in leases, but in fact there’s little immunity from current business risk.

“Without a tenant paying rent or outgoings to cover rates and insurance premiums, there’s significant income disruption and potentially a prolonged period of vacancy.”

Adrian says landlords should be under no illusion that if good tenants fall over, there’s no queue of prospective occupiers, resulting in illiquidity and value erosion to the market value of the property.

“There’s merit in the argument that some rent is better than losing a good tenant and the prospect of no rent at all, and other options include Government-sanctioned bank loans which require approved cashflow statements and business plans which are currently nearly impossible to establish.

“What’s required is an open book process where the tenant pays an adjusting percentage rent to turnover.”

Adrian says this works by the business’s actual percentage turnover being confirmed at the end of each calendar month, perhaps by an accountant, and that proportion applies as the adjusted rent payable for the following month.

“This continues until the tenant gets back to the prescribed rent in the current lease. It’s a process that’s well advanced in Australia,” says Adrian.

The transparent process of the “open book” rental calculation being certified could potentially be done using the free services of the Regional Business Partner Network.

Adrian says that historically, market rents for accommodation, hospitality and retail tenancies were firstly assessed by direct comparison ($/sqm or $/room) but they also needed to fit within a framework of perceived affordability.

“What that means is that rents also needed to represent an acceptable percentage of turnover or net income. Ultimately a prudent tenant will only offer a rental that is deemed to be sustainable and a landlord will accept this necessity if they wish to lease the premises.”

Accommodation rents generally equate to around 22% – 28% of expected turnover, food and beverage/hospitality business rents generally equate to 6 – 8%, and retail percentage turnover rents vary widely, depending on the business sector.

Most current leases have a ‘ratchet clause’ that holds rent at a certain level and may need to be restructured to provide an acceptable level of certainty and confidence for both parties to remain committed and further invest in the premises.

“The ratchet clause is a draconian blunt instrument that should be history,” says Adrian. “Some landlords are putting their heads in the sand if they think otherwise while tenants aren’t sleeping at night if they’ve got this hanging over them.

“Another consideration is whether the landlord has enough protection from losses. Where the business is insolvent, the guarantor is insolvent and there’s little goodwill in the business. Then the landlord and the lessee are truly joined at the hip because both are facing losses.

“If the lessee and guarantor are sound and the lease has value (such as a good motel), then landlords can happily dig their heels in and expect full payment. There’s little financial motivation to make concessions.

“We also need to separate lessees who have a cash flow problem against lessees with a viability problem. Cash flow problems can be solved by deferrals, but viability problems call for agreed reductions.”

For a full outline of the issues and solutions go to:

For further information:
Adrian Chisholm
Director, Tourism Property Brokers Limited t/a
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: 021727888


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