NZONE Skydive celebrates thirty years in the sky

NZONE Skydive celebrates thirty years in the sky

New Zealand’s first commercial tandem skydive operation is celebrating a milestone 30 years of operation this month.

Three decades ago NZONE Skydive took to the skies in Queenstown, the home of adventure, thanks to the incredible vision of founders Robynne and Lindsay Williams.

Over the years its grown to become the world’s leading tandem skydive operation, giving more than 350,000 passengers to date the thrill of a lifetime, and with more to come.

Starting with just three staff members at its base in a paddock near Queenstown in October 1990, it grew year-on-year to become a world-renowned, multi-awarded adventure tourism operation.

Today it also operates Skydive Wanaka (the second-largest skydive company in New Zealand operating for 25 years) and Skydive Southern Alps. The company employed close to 200 staff in pre-COVID times and completed 60% of all tandem skydives in New Zealand.

Meeting the COVID challenge head on, NZONE Skydive is committed to keeping the doors open and retaining as many staff as possible.

“With a legacy of 30 years of operations under our belt as one of Queenstown’s pioneering adventure tourism companies we’re in a battle to survive,” says Skydive Queenstown General Manager Clark Scott.

“We’re celebrating our very special birthday with staff and customers, and over this summer and beyond we’ll continue to offer outstanding experiences to our domestic visitors and hopefully, in the near future, visitors from overseas.

“To all our customers, staff and key trade partners, we’d like to say a very heartfelt ‘Thank You’ for 30 years of incredible support. We couldn’t have done it without you.”

NZONE Skydive offers guests tandem skydives from 9000ft to 15000ft with up to 60 seconds freefall at speeds of 200 km/hour above some of the world’s most stunning scenery.

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Harcourts Queenstown welcomes Hamish Walker to team

Harcourts Queenstown welcomes Hamish Walker to team

Harcourts Queenstown has welcomed former MP and Queenstown resident Hamish Walker to the team as a licensed sales consultant.

Mr Walker, 35, is “returning to his roots” as he originally completed his real estate papers some years ago and has industry experience from across New Zealand.

He was just “days away” from starting work with Harcourts Dunedin three years ago when he was presented with the opportunity to stand for Parliament in the electorate of Clutha-Southland.

Now living in Queenstown since mid-2019, he says he’s looking forward to helping connect people to property, and spending more time at home.

“I’m in the real estate industry to help people reach their goals and next stage of life, we love this community and I feel deeply connected to it having represented the area in Parliament,” he says.

“My enthusiasm for helping others and my relationship with each community in the Wakatipu Basin helps me connect with clients to provide them with the best service possible.

“I enjoy spending time with family, volunteering in the community, refereeing rugby, playing golf, fishing and skiing.”

Mr Walker says highlights of his time in Parliament included successfully lobbying the Government to increase the housing cap by $100,000, and holding the first ever protest march in Queenstown to help keep a much-loved Sri Lankan family stay in “this place we call home” and passing a members bill to help put foster children on a level playing field with other kids.

His previous experience includes founding a property management business in Auckland which he successfully franchised and sold, and he’s worked in the banking and accounting industries.

Over the years he has served the community in roles including a board director on the Otago Rugby Union and as a member of the Otago/Southland Lotteries Committee.

Harcourts Queenstown managing director Warwick Osborne says Hamish is “all about relationships and community” which is the perfect fit for the company.

“Trust, community and shared values are at the heart of doing business in Queenstown and throughout the Harcourts Highland Group’s six offices in Otago, and Hamish’s deep ties to the region make him an ideal addition to our brand,” he says.

“On a sporting level Harcourts is proud to sponsor the Otago Rugby Referees Association and we appreciate the volunteer work Hamish and others like him put into our children, families and the wider community.”

Celebrating 25 years in business next month, Harcourts Queenstown has created a supportive team culture which encourages consultants and all members of staff to reach their full potential.

“We’ve always been a market leader and nationally we’ve been voted New Zealand’s most trusted brand for eight years in a row by our clients, so we’re delighted to welcome Hamish to our team.

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New Board Appointment At Mt Cook Alpine Salmon

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Ltd is pleased to announce the appointment of Carl Carrington to its Board.

Carl was Chief Executive of Moana for six years, previously known as Aotearoa Fisheries. Moana has a major interest in Sealord which in turn owns 100% of Petuna, a Tasmanian salmon company.

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Chairman Sir Bill English said he was “pleased to welcome Carl to our board at a time when like all other businesses we face new uncertainties.”

“Carl has deep knowledge of the seafood industry along with marketing experience in New Zealand and overseas,” he said. “He also has established relationships in markets where we export and he will provide a valuable strategic view for our board.”

Since retiring from Moana, Carl has moved to Wanaka and has a number of professional board roles including the Cawthron Institute in Nelson. A chemical engineer by profession, Carl has a track record with a number of senior roles in multinational organisations. He holds an MBA and is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors.

“I joined Mt Cook Alpine Salmon because I’ve always admired the company, its values and its forward-thinking strategies,” said Carl.

“I was privileged to do some organisational development work for them earlier this year and was very impressed with the calibre of their people.

“I feel I can offer some contribution to helping the company unfold its aspirations.”

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Ltd farms Freshwater King Salmon in the South Canterbury hydro canals of the MacKenzie District. This special salmon is sought after for its clean subtle taste and delicate texture, here and across the globe.

 

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Holiday Inn Express supports community – embraces Winter Pride

Queenstown’s Holiday Inn Express & Suites has only been open seven weeks, but has jumped ‘boots and all’ into community events.

This week its proud sponsor of the Winter Pride On-Mountain Series, an explosion of colour across three mountains incorporating the famous Onesie Day, Ski Charity Race Day and the Pride Ski Flag Parade.

Holiday Inn Express signed up to support Winter Pride nearly a year ago, with the hotel only half-way to completion at the time.

Fast-forward to this week and the Holiday Inn Express team has been on the snow, celebrating some of the best spring skiing in years and having fun with LGBTTIA+ visitors from all around New Zealand.

Hotel General Manager Jason Sabin says he and his team have been “beaming ear to ear” all week.

“It’s been great to see the return of Aucklanders and the rest of New Zealand to their favourite fun destination,” he says.

“Yes we’re operating under Level 2 and yes it would have been great to welcome Australian visitors too, but Martin and his Winter Pride organisers and volunteers have done an amazing job.

“The icing on the cake for him and us was the amazing snowfalls and cold temperatures we’ve had in the last few days.

“The skiing and snowboarding has been outstanding, thanks to Coronet Peak, Cardrona and The Remarkables. A highlight for us was supporting the Ski Charity Race which raises funds for the Wakatipu Youth Trust, a not-for-profit working alongside young people in Queenstown.

“We’ve loved every minute and will definitely be back next year!”

Winter Pride festival director Martin King says that in these extraordinary times, support for the festival is “critical” to its survival.

“Holiday Inn Express has been super-engaged and supportive, and them staying with us and standing up for the event at this time has been vital,” he says.

With snow coating the mountains and a brand-new hotel ready and waiting, the timing’s perfect to check out opening special deals still available throughout September and the school holidays (September 26 to October 11).

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown is a 227-room hotel on the corner of Stanley and Sydney Streets, just a short stroll from the resort town’s vibrant centre.

The hotel’s room offering includes spacious suites – a Holiday Inn Express ‘first’ in New Zealand and Australia – in addition to superior rooms with breath taking views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range.

It has a warm, stylish vibe, complete with an outdoor lounge with firepit. It’s also equipped with the smart, simple rooms and in-room features that leisure and business travellers have come to know and love.

The hotel delivers on features the Holiday Inn Express brand has become renowned for including an Express Start breakfast, power showers, black-out blinds, high-quality bedding with a choice of pillows and uncapped Wi-Fi.

There’s also a fitness room, sauna, two flexible meeting rooms, self-serve laundry, dry room, onsite parking and a free business centre.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown is the first and only hotel under the Holiday Inn Express brand in New Zealand to date. 

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