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 deals site set to correct the market, lands in the Tasman District and Nelson

New deals site set to correct the market, lands in the Tasman District and Nelson.

The founders of a new discount deals site are calling out the industry for lack of transparency as they launch in the Tasman District and Nelson.

Everyone loves a good discount but the team behind Deal Champ knows businesses are hurting, trying to keep afloat and keep staff employed.

That’s why they’ve come up with a new concept in online deals that’s touted as a ‘win-win’ for vendors and buyers, acknowledging that Deal Champ’s “on a mission” to disrupt the industry with longevity and sustainability at the forefront.

Co-founder and Business Development Manager Chris Bradley says in the build-up to Covid the deals industry had been “completely broken and out of control”.

“We all love a great deal but not if it forces businesses into a position where costs and commission rates keep going up, yields go down and people lose jobs,” he says.

“The old deals model of booking and payment systems rapidly unravelled as Covid took hold and there were some spectacular fallouts.”

So the Deal Champ model is very different from other deal and online booking sites, where the ‘deal’ the customer sees doesn’t deliver all those much-needed dollars into the operator’s pocket.

“Deal Champ is user-friendly, no contract, no commission and no bullshit,” says Chris.

The brand new business model was hammered out in a late-night brainstorm, fuelled by Covid-19 and a bottle of whisky.

Tasman businesses have been quick to get on board from tourism activities to lawyers and beauty salons and much more.

Deal Champ is the brainchild of the four founders of Queenstown-based Everything Travel Group (ETG) and experienced deals industry guru, Chris.

Nigel Hobbs, Matt Morgan, Callum Goodall and Kris Barrs of ETG had been running the online travel and tourism agency for nearly two decades, watching cracks slowly appear in the deals industry.

Like all good ‘lightbulb moment’ ideas the premise is simple – unlike other models, Deal Champ doesn’t take any commission or fees from vendors. Instead, customers pick their deal and pay 10% of their savings to Deal Champ, thereby ‘accessing’ the deal.

From that moment on, the transaction is between the customer and vendor only, meaning there’s no middleman, no holding payments and no hidden costs. Customers are sent an e-voucher to use to pay the vendor directly.

“We’ve set the bar high right from the get-go as we’re aiming to be the biggest and fairest deals site by Christmas, supporting local all the way,” says Chris.

The site will span across six different industries including experiences (encompassing tourism), accommodation, wellness, dining, retail and services.

Mark Burnaby, Managing Director of Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles, was thrilled to be on board with Deal Champ.

“We love the business model, it’s great that we can offer special promotions to New Zealanders that’s also affordable for our business and gives us some extra exposure online,” says Mark.

“There was definitely a need for Deal Champ, the commissions that have previously been paid on top of a discounted product is not ideal. This business model certainly fits us and it’s solving a problem for sellers and buyers.”

Stacey Annett, owner of The Beauty Lounge Beauty Clinic Nelson, echoed this sentiment.

“We really needed a good, honest deals sight. A lot of people use them as customers, including myself, and it’s good to know this is fair to everyone involved.”

Deal Champ’s Chris is adamant the deals industry needs to work with, not against vendors.

“In a really tough time in business life right now we need to work together to reset the industry and make it transparent so vendors can afford to keep staff employed and yields up.”

Deal Champ also has the investor support of hugely successful tech-hospitality startup First Table, founded by Queenstown’s Mat Weir.

Future developments will enable First Table restaurant listings to be purchased through Deal Champ, making the site New Zealand’s biggest deals platform.

Deal Champ has already launched in Queenstown and Christchurch over the past month and will roll out in different areas throughout New Zealand over the coming months.

Check out the new site here: www.dealchamp.co.nz

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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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