‘Koha for kiwi’ – Queenstown’s Kiwi Birdlife Park appeals for visitors

‘Koha for kiwi’ – Queenstown’s Kiwi Birdlife Park appeals for visitors

Queenstown’s Kiwi Birdlife Park usually attracts thousands of visitors every year, and is recognised nationwide for its conservation success stories.

And now it needs New Zealand’s help.

After 34 years of operation, and with the same family at the helm, its international visitor numbers have dried up. Like many others it is targeting its domestic and local markets with great deals and packages to help keep the doors open and wildlife programmes running.

And for the month of June it’s launching an innovative ‘Koha for kiwi’ programme to help raise awareness and keep the wolf from the door.

The Kiwi Birdlife Park is a national treasure — it holds and displays over 23 species of native wildlife as part of nationally-managed programmes, takes part in a number of breed-for-release programmes, and has planted over 18,000 native plants providing essential food and shelter to wild native birds.

Park owner and director Paul Wilson says he is “painfully aware” that tourist numbers will be “very, very low” in the coming months.

“While it’s scary to open the gates for koha donations only in June, we recognise that we need to raise awareness of who we are and what we do with New Zealanders who’re being encouraged to explore their own backyard. We have a product that we are very proud of and this is a great opportunity to share it with as many Kiwis as possible.

“We’re not a government funded facility and are completely reliant on visitors and souvenir sales to fund our conservation efforts, while providing the highest level of care for our endangered native wildlife.

“A few months ago we completed a $1million state-of-the-art new kiwi house but partially because of the Covid situation we’re struggling to get the revenue we need to pay for a significant part of the building cost.

“We visited every kiwi house in the country to make sure we built the best, and now have the largest kiwidisplay house of any Park in the country. Four of our kiwi are scheduled to be released into the wild over the next few months, but we keep some breeding pairs to add to this vital programme.”

The park is the first New Zealand facility accredited by Australasia’s Zoo and Aquarium Association for providing ‘positive animal welfare’.


Nearly forty years ago, a Queenstown-based garage owner had an unlikely ‘vision’ – to build the resort town’s first birdlife and conservation park on an overgrown piece of wasteland.

Invercargill-born Dick Wilson and his wife Noeleen moved to Queenstown in the 1950s and opened their first garage and shop in Frankton. Twenty years later, Dick, a remarkable visionary, realised customers were asking where they could see New Zealand’s famous icon the kiwi.

An animal lover who was passionate about nature and native wildlife, he knew a piece of land was being used as a dumping site for old cars and rubbish on the edge of town. He applied to the Lake County Council to lease the land and was granted the lease for the land and use of a natural spring in the early 1980s. He was 57 years old when his dream project was given the green light.

After removing several tonnes of rubbish, fencing the entire area, clearing 2m-high blackberry and broom canes, building ponds and removing about  100 huge pine trees, Dick and son Paul built aviaries, the first Kiwi house and a ticket office, planting 10,000 native trees.

They contacted the New Zealand Wildlife Service (now Department of Conservation) to see how they could go about sourcing some birds, and two long and hard years later officially opened for business on January 13th1986. The park is still owned by Paul Wilson and his wife Sandra.

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Local Charities set to benefit from Rotary Relationship

Local Charities set to benefit from Rotary Relationship

Four local charities are set to benefit from the Rotary Club of Queenstown’s relationship with the New Zealand Open which was held earlier this year.

For the 101st New Zealand Open held in late February this year, the Rotary Club of Queenstown stepped up their involvement with the tournament to manage car parking across both Millbrook Resort and The Hills for all four days of the tournament.

In return, the tournament donated the proceeds from the Car Parking to the Rotary Club to distribute amongst the local community.

Tournament Chairman John Hart couldn’t be more pleased to see the money collected will be going to help locals in the Queenstown and Central Otago region.

“We love working with the Rotary Club of Queenstown, they are a great group of volunteers to donate their time to help others”

“We were more than happy to extend our relationship with the Rotary Club and give them an opportunity to raise funds for these local charities” said Hart.

The Rotary Club of Queenstown has earmarked the funds raised from the 2020 New Zealand Open to be distributed between the Rural Education Activities Programme, Queenstown Harvest Gardens, Hospice Southland – Queenstown Palliative Nurse and the Wakatipu Youth Trust.

Chris Taylor, Club Secretary of the Rotary Club of Queenstown believes that the New Zealand Open is a huge asset to the local community and loves being apart of the international event.

“Apart from generating business locally, for both small and large business operators, it generates a significant sense of community spirit as evidenced by the large number of locals who give their time voluntarily to assist with the events success”

“Queenstown Rotary Club members make up only a small part of the tournaments volunteer army which help provide a significant opportunity to market Queenstown and its environment internationally” said Taylor.

The Rotary Internationals motto is “Service Above Self”.  Its members gain satisfaction from serving their community in areas where it is needed most. In doing so, they develop a spirit of camaraderie and comradeship which permeates the club.

“The symbiotic relationship between the New Zealand Open and the Rotary Club of Queenstown provides the tournament with assistance while at the same time the Rotary Club is assisted in achieving its objectives in providing both financial and physical assistance to the community where it is most needed“ said Taylor.

The intention is for funds raised at the 2020 New Zealand Open is to assist less advantaged individuals/groups in the local Wakatipu community. More information on the local charities who are set to benefit from this year’s tournament as well as the Rotary Club of Queenstown can be found below.

Rotary Club of Queenstown: queenstownrotary.co.nz
Rural Education Activities Programme:  southernreap.co.nz
Queenstown Harvest Gardens: harvestgardens.nz
Hospice Southland – Queenstown Palliative Nurse: hospicesouthland.org.nz
Wakatipu Youth Trust: wakatipuyouthtrust.co.nz


CONTACT: Mike Hadnett – [email protected] +64275493222

Follow the New Zealand Open:

nzopen.com | Facebook | TwitterInstagram

About the 102nd New Zealand Open

The tournament is one of New Zealand’s leading sporting events with a long and prestigious history. It was founded in 1907 and will be played for the 102nd time between 25 and 28 March 2021.

The tournament is a co-sanctioned event on the PGA Tour of Australasia and Asian Tour schedules and also has a partnership agreement with the Japan Golf Tour

A professional field of 152 players will play the first two rounds alternately at Millbrook Resort and The Hills before the second round cut of 60 plus ties. The final two rounds will be played at Millbrook.

The New Zealand Open Champion will be the leading player after 72 holes of strokeplay

The tournament also hosts 152 amateur players, each partnering with a Professional in a two-man best-ball event, competing for the NZ Pro-Am Championship.

About the PGA Tour of Australasia

As one of the leading Professional golf tours worldwide, the PGA Tour of Australasia is the elite tournament destination for Professional golf in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

All tournaments on the PGA Tour of Australasia carry Official World Golf Ranking points. The PGA of Australia sanctions around 300 tournaments across the Australasia region offering a total prize pool in excess of AU $12 million.

The PGA Tour of Australasia is a founding member of the International Federation of PGA Tours. The International Federation is responsible for generating funds for the worldwide development and expansion of the game and the management and sanctioning of prestigious tournaments including the World Golf Championships and the World Cup of Golf.

Also, visit us at: pga.org.au | Facebook | Twitter

 About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of professional golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game.

The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. The Tour is officially recognised by the Official World Golf Rankings and provides its events with valuable ranking points for participants to be recognised on the world stage.

Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), Habitat for Humanity (Official Sustainable Development Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), FootJoy (Supplier), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore, Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. The Tour is an affiliate of The R&A.

Also, visit us at: asiantour.com | Facebook | Twitter

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Queenstown Excited To Welcome Visitors Again

Queenstown Excited To Welcome Visitors Again

In two recent NZ polls Queenstown has ranked the first choice of destination Kiwis are planning to visit once travel restrictions lift. It’s a great acknowledgement from people across New Zealand that Queenstown is an inspirational destination that they are keen to visit again.

The announcement yesterday that NZ will move to Alert Level 2 on Thursday has been met with delight in Queenstown, with operators in the Southern Hemisphere’s premier holiday destination excited to welcome visitors again and get back to business.

Regional tourism organisation, Destination Queenstown, says the announcement is hugely important and provides a pathway to recovery for tourism operators moving into the vital winter season.

Destination Queenstown interim CEO, Ann Lockhart, says tourism operators are keen to get back to doing what they do best – inviting visitors to share our culture and spectacular part of the country.

“The announcement today will provide some relief for businesses in Queenstown following many weeks of uncertainty. Tourism operators will now be looking at how the rules apply to them, how they can safely operate under alert level 2 and making any adaptations to do so. While this isn’t a total panacea it is a good step in the right direction. DQ will be working with businesses this week to understand their plans and identify any support they may need access to,’’ Ms Lockhart said.

“We are certain that our world leading tourism operators are well equipped to meet requirements to deliver great experiences, in a safe environment. We are excited our ski fields are able to operate, our hospitality sector will be looking forward to serving visitors again soon, and many of our activities will be able to make the guidelines work.”

The return of commercial air services to Queenstown will also go a long way toward getting the Queenstown community back on its feet.

Destination Queenstown (DQ) has developed a framework of marketing activity in response to Covid-19. The approach has three stages; local, regional and domestic and aims to tell our story from the inside out, celebrating our culture and our diversity.

The first campaign, #WeAreQueenstown, launched two weeks ago has centred on the local community. The marketing campaign not only encourages support for local businesses, but aims to inspire community spirit and pride, reminding locals why they choose to call Queenstown home.

DQ began ramping up winter marketing activity last week, following announcement of the inclusion of domestic travel in level 2. This will culminate with the launch of a new winter marketing campaign, targeting the domestic market, on 1 June. The campaign will be a celebration of being back in the outdoors, exploring, discovering and spending time with friends – some true Kiwi favourites.

DQ is also underway with research to get a wider understanding of the domestic market. The work will provide insights to both inform DQ marketing investment and activity but also to deliver key insights for DQ members.

Ms Lockhart says the RTO is keen to unlock the lockdown wanderlust and invite New Zealanders to enjoy our great outdoors, our vibrant town, exceptional dining and iconic activities.

“Queenstown’s world-class activities and outstanding natural beauty have earned Queenstown a collection of accolades over the years and now is the perfect time for Kiwis to experience why.”

New Zealanders have always played an important role in Queenstown’s visitation. Kiwis coming to Queenstown have historically made up a third of all visitors.

This was created by Destination Queenstown and first published on Scoop.

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Media Training Key To Successful Communications

Media Training Key To Successful Communications

By Fiona Woodham

Business leaders right now are finding themselves in the spotlight, often (especially if they’re in tourism) in the tricky position of having to rationalise or justify business closures or staff redundancies.

If they’re a business entrepreneur, start-up or have successfully ‘pivoted’ their business to provide goods or services that people need or want right now, it’s a golden opportunity to build or enhance their personal or business brand.

The team at Southern PR’s known for its comprehensive Media Training, based on over 25 years in the PR industry in NZ and over a decade in journalism for national UK & NZ newspapers.

So – media interviews can be intense. But if you’re prepared, keep calm and have some key ‘pivot’ techniques in your pocket, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.

  • DO YOUR HOMEWORK – Know what you want to say, why and how. Work out your key messages, and practice saying them out loud. Believe me, it helps.
  • RELAX – Take a deep breath, drink a glass of water before you start. Think about what you’re wearing, how you look, and what’s in the background. Put your best face forward.
  • THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK – Don’t be rushed, take a second to pause before answering a question. Keep responses short, on topic and you’re less likely to get ‘lost’ (and lose your listener in the process). Talk in soundbites.
  • TALK LIKE A POLITICIAN – Hmmm, maybe some more than others! If you’re asked a question that’s going off topic, is challenging, or going down a route you don’t want to go down, use the bridging technique. For example:  “I don’t have those specific details, what I can say is…” and get back on message.
  • CORRECT YOURSELF – Sometimes something comes out of your mouth and you know straight away it’s not right. Never be afraid to say “I’m sorry, can I correct that?”
  • CORRECT THE INTERVIEWER – if they get something wrong, be firm but clear. Use a bridging technique to get back on message such as: “That’s not correct, the facts are…”
  • DON’T REPEAT NEGATIVES – a common enough mistake. For example, if a question asks if your company is lying, don’t repeat the word “lying” in your response unless you want it to be part of your soundbite. Start with: “The facts are…” then transition to your message.
  • HIGHLIGHT YOUR KEY MESSAGE – literally. You get full attention when you say something like “The key thing here is…”
  • SPEAK UP AND SHUT UP – Do not, what ever you do, fill in the silence between questions. Invariably this will end up being the headline, the moment at which you lost the plot and said something that wandered off topic. Answer the question, keep on message, wait for the next question. Easy.

If you’d like to know more or enquire about full media training and PR services, email [email protected]

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