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Turning the Tide



Turning the Tide

Proudly supported by Vision Insurance


Meet our Speakers


Paul Yeo

Industry Relations Manager, Tourism New Zealand

Paul is part of the New Zealand and Government Relations team for Tourism New Zealand and works from both TNZ’s Wellington office and home in Mount Maunganui. This team looks after TNZ’s corporate affairs with Paul being responsible for engagement with key tourism industry stakeholders. He is also responsible for managing the i-SITE Network, a TNZ subsidiary and our official national visitor information network that has over 60 locations across New Zealand.

Paul was previously Chief Executive of the Inbound Tour Operators Council (ITOC) and the Travel Agents' Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) and has also run Regional Tourism Organisations in Marlborough and Lake Taupo.

Programme:  Tuesday, 11 May @ 10.45am





Paul Yeo

John Barrett

Kapiti Island Nature Tours, Kapiti Island Manuka Honey, WINTA leadership Council, Waiorua Bay-Kapiti Island.

John Barrett is the managing director and founder of Kapiti Island Nature Tours- and Nature Lodge, a family operated, multi tourism award winning, tourism business located on one of New Zealand’s premier nature reserves – Kapiti Island.

John whakapapa/genealogy is Ngati Raukawa, Te Ati Awa and Ngati Toarangatira tribes. He has 40 years of management and governance experience in a range of private and public organisations and enterprises, and is currently active as a founding member on the Leadership Council of WINTA- World Indigenous Tourism Alliance- Recently retired Director of Tourism NZ, NZ’s tourism marketing organisation- Past Chair of NZ Maori Tourism Council, Director-Te Waananga o Raukawa Foundation (Maori University).

Not surprisingly,  John’s interests (when time away from whanau, and the whanau business permits) are; nature based tourism, Maori and International indigenous tourism development- local/regional economic development- Indigenous higher education and conservation practice and education.

Programme:  Tuesday, 12 May @ 11.00am


John Barrett

Kapiti Island Nature

Chris Roberts

CEO, Tourism Industry Aotearoa

Chris’ background includes journalism and working at Parliament, followed by various corporate roles.

In 2012 he joined Tourism New Zealand’s executive team and in 2014 Chris moved to TIA as Chief Executive. TIA is tourism’s peak body and Chris is frequently the voice of the tourism industry, advocating for all of us.

Along with his CEO’s responsibilities and dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, Chris is on the Tourism Infrastructure Fund Panel, the Responsible Camping Working Group, the Board of Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails, the establishment board for the Services Industries Workforce Development Council, and chairs the Expert Reference Group reviewing adventure activity regulations.

He also likes to travel, and Chris and his wife Rachel stay in bed and breakfast accommodation whenever they can.

Chris was recognised in March as one of Australasia's top Association Influencers - one of only two people recognised from New Zealand.

Programme:  Tuesday, 12 May @ 1.15pm



Chris Roberts


Lynda Keene

Chief Executive, Tourism Export Council of New Zealand

Lynda is the Chief Executive of the Tourism Export Council of NZ (TECNZ). The Tourism Export Council represents businesses who focus on international holiday packages that are planned, booked and managed by Inbound Tour Operators (ITOs). TECNZ members bring in 1.8million (55%) of total international arrivals (3.9million 2019) and ITOs are considered a strategic asset to the NZ international tourism industry.

Lynda has over 30 years’ experience in the tourism industry and prior to her role at TECNZ, worked for two years with Destination Kaikōura to help the tourism recovery post-earthquake and was formerly the CEO at Nelson Tasman Tourism (6 years). She has extensive knowledge of international, domestic, event and conference tourism. She has also worked overseas as a consultant for the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in the Cook Islands, a consultant for Deloitte and the South Asia Tourism Council and in NZ with a speciality in indigenous tourism and new product development.

Programme:  Panel, Tuesday 12 May @ 2.00pm / Workshop, Wednesday 13 May @ 1.00pm



Lynda Keene

Craig & Blanche Sturgess

Owners, The Old School Enfield - Sorry We're Full!

Blanche and Craig met at Aberdeen airport when Craig was coming back from work in the North sea, and Blanche was doing her nursing training there. They married on the island of Burray, in the Orkney Isles, Blanches home island. We returned to NZ by motorcycle and set up house, first in the Wairarapa, and then in the Manawatu, where we were farming. After 17 years of Isolation we moved to the mainland; a seaside cottage just south of Oamaru. In search of a project, we purchased the Old School from the Education Dept., and proceeded to turn it in to something else. We purchased the school in 2016. The renovation took 15 months and we opened for business in Feb 2019. 

Programme:  Wednesday, 12 May @ 9.00am



The Old School Enfield

Richard & Carmen Tredwell

Owners, ICA Station - Successfully off the Beaten Track!

We are Richard & Carmen Tredwell - originally from the UK.  We've lived in New Zealand for the past 16 years and love it!.  We live in our beautiful historic homestead that we've turned into a B&B and have two ornate holiday cottages all set in 20 acres of landscaped gardens & grounds.  For 7 months of the year (Oct - Apr) we run the 'Whareama Coastal Walk' from here - a fully catered 2 or 3 day walking experience over private farmland with isolated coastline views.  

Programme:  Wednesday, 12 May @ 9.30am


Richard & Carmen

John Hayson


John has over 25 years’ experience in assisting companies across the Asia Pacific region implements technology into their businesses to drive improvement, with the last 20 years specialising in getting these businesses “online”.

In 2000 he founded Conduit International , one of NZ’s first B2B eCommerce company’s and led the growth of that business across Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand.

In 2008 John took a controlling stake in NZ’s first online property management systems – ResBook – and in 2009, in conjunction with his wife Gina Paladini, founded Tomahawk, NZ’s leading tourism digital marketing & systems provider.

Programme:  Wednesday, 12 May @ 1.00pm



Megan Williams

TIA Sustainability Advocate

Megan is a Sustainability Advocate for TIA and in her life.

She was the founding Manager of Sustainable Wanaka (where she delivered a workshop on sustainability to the Wanaka Bed and breakfast conference in 2007!). Megan was a founding trustee of Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust, a contractor to the Wanaka Community Hub and co-initiated the successful Wānaka Water Project for WAI Wanaka.  Megan is also a tourism operator, serving 4 years on the Lake Wanaka Tourism Board as a Director of Wanaka Wine Tours and Discover Wanaka.

Megan brings the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment to life and helps businesses achieve the 12 commitments.

Programme:  Wednesday, 12 May @ 1.00pm


Megan Williams










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