The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Local efforts demonstrate the pivotal role of hospitality

Hospitality New Zealand Chief Executive, Steve Armitage

Hospitality New Zealand Chief Executive, Steve Armitage

Hospitality is the glue that binds communities together. The restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels spread across the motu serve as places where people gather to connect, unwind and socialise.

The role that hospitality plays in our communities was wonderfully captured in a recent story from Southland. When the small town of Waikaka was faced with the prospect of losing its cherished local pub late last year, a group of six locals banded together to purchase it.

The Royal Tavern has been a part of Waikaka since 1872 – a place to meet and share manaakitanga over many generations. With the next nearest pub being at least a 20-minute drive away, preserving a place for the local community to welcome residents and visitors inspired the group to take action when the tavern went on the market.

This was not just a business venture; it was also about preserving a community’s spirit. Craig Winslow, one of the directors of the newly-formed Waikaka Hotel Enhancement Company, said at the time that it was important that the town kept its hotel.

“We lost our shop a few years ago, and if we lost the pub, the garage might not be far behind. It’s hugely important for the social aspects of the town and the district that the pub stays open so that the community has somewhere to get together.”

Throughout New Zealand, establishments like the Royal Tavern are more than just places to dine or socialise; they are the heart of our neighbourhoods and communities, the focal point where bonds are forged, friendships are cultivated and memories are made. They embody the unique character and identity of the people within their communities.

At Hospitality New Zealand, we understand the importance of fostering these connections. We’re not just advocates for the industry; we are here to champion the work you all do to serve your communities.

To achieve this, we’ve recently spent time refining how we can best deliver on our promise to be the hospitality sector’s champion, giving our members the tools, resources, partnerships and knowledge that owners and operators need to maximise your success and add value to your businesses.

What does our updated strategy revolve around? Put simply, we’re aiming to better meet the needs of our individual members, our local business communities and our sector. We will tirelessly push for what our members need most to thrive in the here and now, whilst looking to the future to champion ideas and initiatives that will generate long-term success.

We will provide our members unlimited access to our member advisory helpline, employment resources and in-house legal expertise, and give you access to world-class training and resources to train and upskill your people.

We’ll help you to adapt and lead the way in sustainable and innovative practices through consumer and sector data and insights, celebrate sector excellence, and provide our members local and national connections, benefits, discounts and support.

As you navigate the current challenges and opportunities our industry is facing, Hospitality NZ will be here to support you in the profound role you all play within our regions and townships, not just in Waikaka, but across the whole country.

Our role is to champion all that you do to keep our communities vibrant and connected. This connection is as important now as it has ever been.

Find out more about Hospitality New Zealand membership.