I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board will be held on:




Meeting Room:



Tuesday, 27 July 2021


Claris Conference Centre
19 Whangaparapara Road
Aotea / Great Barrier Island


Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board










Izzy Fordham


Deputy Chairperson

Luke Coles



Susan Daly



Patrick O'Shea



Valmaine Toki



(Quorum 3 members)




Guia Nonoy

Democracy Advisor


22 July 2021


Contact Telephone: (09) 301 0101

Email: guia.nonoy@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz



Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board

27 July 2021



ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                         PAGE


17        Aotea / Great Barrier Island Destination Management Plan - Auckland Unlimited 5


Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board

27 July 2021



Aotea / Great Barrier Island Destination Management Plan - Auckland Unlimited

File No.: CP2021/10560



Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       Auckland Unlimited in collaboration with Stafford Strategy are seeking the endorsement of the Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board on a project to develop an Aotea / Great Barrier Island Destination Management Plan (the plan).

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       As a result of COVID-19 impacts and restrictions, there is now a clearer recognition of the value and costs of tourism to Aotea / Great Barrier Island and its community.

3.       Auckland Unlimited have been working in partnership with Destination Great Barrier Island (DGBI) including representation from mana whenua to manage the visitor economy and enhance offerings on the island and will continue to do so by developing this plan for a long-term positive outcome from the impacts of tourism on Aotea / Great Barrier. 

4.       The commitment is to develop the plan in a collaborative way, so that it will cover and represent a wide range of stakeholder viewpoints and agendas. This ensures issues and opportunities identified within local strategies such as the Aotea Great Barrier Visitor Strategy, Aotea / Great Barrier Island Ecology Vision, and Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board Plan 2020, and following consultation with the council and CCO’s, local residents, businesses and iwi are bought to light, to ensure the visitor economy is seen as a sustainable industry on Aotea / Great Barrier Island.

Ngā tūtohunga


That the Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board:

a)      endorse the development of the Aotea / Great Barrier Island Destination Management Plan as per Attachment A to the agenda report.

b)      note that the stakeholder engagement for the Aotea / Great Barrier Island Destination Management Plan has begun with surveys and meetings in July and endorse all remaining next key steps for engagement and development.



5.       Part of Auckland Unlimited’s traditional role on Aotea / Great Barrier Island has been to work with the Local Board, mana whenua and DGBI to develop a “long-term visitor strategy” to achieve sustainable economic growth, this work has been heightened in terms of importance because of the impacts from COVID-19. The strategy aims to attract longer stay visitors to the island and add economic, environment and community value. One of the critical issues we foresee is the need to investigate “carrying capacity limits”, as we note that previous media comments from the community especially on Aotea / Great Barrier has been centred on better managing visitation and finding the “sweet spot” between encouraging solid visitor numbers but not too many, so we can avoid over tourism risks going forward. This is also a common and unified theme from community on the island.

6.       We note that the importance and role of tourism on Aotea / Great Barrier Island has grown significantly in recent years. The impact of this visitor growth has been contested locally with considerable opposition to low-value visitation and vocal concern from the local community over larger influxes of visitors who predominantly do not understand the expectations and realities of visiting Aotea / Great Barrier, often do not align with the island’s values, and create unnecessary pressure especially at peak season times. Many residents have chosen to live on the island for its intrinsic values, including its unspoilt nature. Mass tourism is widely perceived to threaten that nature and the sense of community – the quintessential values that also contribute to making Aotea / Great Barrier and unique yet popular destination.

7.       This exercise will create opportunities including:

·    alignment with the community-consulted Local Board Plan

·    delivering sustainable destination management for Aotea / Great Barrier

·    ensuring all of this will align with the Destination AKL 2025 Strategy and Destination AKL Recovery Plan

·    ensuring this also meets with the national destination management guidelines

·    to help guide Auckland Unlimited’s engagement with Local Boards from a destination management perspective so a consistent and sustainable regional approach is delivered across the wider Auckland landscape.

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

8.       Options considered:

·    Do nothing and leave the island to continue to operate in the tourism industry as it is now, highly impacted from COVID-19 and with a large variety of conflicting and neglected stakeholder groups.

·    Develop a longer-term vision and plan alongside all key stakeholders who have a viewpoint within the tourism sector on Aotea / Great Barrier to firstly recover from COVID-19 but then to operate in a sustainable, beneficial way.

9.       The preferred option is to develop an Aotea / Great Barrier Island Destination Management Plan partnering with mana whenua and working alongside key stakeholders and in collaboration with Stafford Strategy. This would not only align groups with differing agendas, but also identify opportunities for the island with the plan to continue to develop in a more sustainable way.

10.     This plan aims to serve the whole Aotea / Great Barrier region and its various communities who are hyper reliant on tourism for a source of income and wellbeing as an island. This approach clearly aligns to the outcomes of both Auckland Unlimited as the city’s Regional Tourism Organisation, and also the Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board.

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

11.     There are no particular impacts of climate change as a result of the recommendations within this report however impacts will be considered during the development of the plan.

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

12.     Auckland Unlimited will liaise with Auckland Council and necessary Council Controlled Organisations (CCO‘s) during the development of this plan.

13.     Sustainable growth and development of regions within Auckland is a key goal and outcome shared by all CCO’s and is at the core of the development of the plan.

Ngā whakaaweawe ā-rohe me ngā tirohanga a te poari ā-rohe

Local impacts and local board views

14.     The Aotea / Great Barrier  Local Board area is home to an estimated 1,100 people however an unknown quantity of people visits the island per year. Consequently, this means an enormous impact is felt by a small community who make this tourism hot spot their home, but also their place of work. Economic activity on Aotea / Great Barrier must balance development with impacts on environment and infrastructure. This includes ensuring community lifestyle is not adversely impacted.

15.     With the wider impacts of COVID-19 being felt on the island, but also throughout the wider tourism industry, this is the perfect time to be developing a strategy so that when international visitors return the island alongside the growing popularity that Aotea / Great Barrier has gained in the domestic market, and its stakeholder groups are well equipped to mitigate and manage the impacts felt by the community.

16.     The development of the plan aligns with the Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board Plan 2020 objective to have sustainable tourism and implement sustainable destination management alongside DGBI.

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

17.     The scope of this plan has been developed in partnership with Destination Great Barrier Island which includes mana whenua representation.

18.     Future development of this plan and identified flow on workstreams will involve ongoing partnerships with Mana Whenua and Mataawaka.

19.     The first round of stakeholder workshops was held over two days in mid-July with mana whenua in attendance at several of the sessions.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

20.     Auckland Unlimited is committed to funding, leading and developing the plan for Aotea / Great Barrier Island in strong partnership and collaboration with local board, mana whenua, community and industry.

21.     Procurement and financial processes will therefore be able to sit with one agency as the engagement of a consultant / external neutral party will be vital in the execution of this project.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

22.     The following risks and mitigations have been identified:

23.     Further COVID-19 outbreaks and return to alert level 4 lock down conditions.

24.     This will force the closure of all businesses for the period of the lock down and ability for research and stakeholder engagement to occur.

25.     Lack of public support within the local community.

26.     This would impact on the overall ability for the project to be completed as gaining input from all stakeholder individuals, businesses and groups is vital for a destination management plan.

27.     Expectation of continued Auckland Unlimited leadership and / or funding for implementation.

28.     Action points and strategic areas for implementation. The host communities and groups may take the initial funding as the expectation that Auckland Unlimited then funds follow up activity and action points.

29.     To mitigate this, it is vital that clear expectations of realities are set out from the beginning by project lead, Auckland Unlimited.

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

30.     Key steps to this project have already started and are outlined below. Auckland Unlimited are extremely keen to continue to keep this project moving. 

31.     Inception meetings with identified key stakeholder groups. This would be also be used to gather document review advice, report locations and data collation.

32.     Literature review.

33.     Stakeholder consultation. Once a chance to develop the data sets and map accordingly to illustrate trends and hot spots on the island, we would then look to set up a series of meetings with key stakeholder groups and individuals. As stated, these have started with the first round of consultation now complete in conjunction with a community survey which has had excellent response rate.

34.     Product development assessment and trends. We would use the opportunity in the stakeholder consultation from our own trips around the island to identify potential for new product, and enhancements to existing product where possible.

35.     Supporting infrastructure. We would also assess the need for changes to supporting infrastructure to help ensure the visitor economy as highly sustainable and the island starts to address some of the current challenges.

36.     Market demand analysis.

37.     Visitor growth scenario planning.

38.     Policy alignment.

39.     Follow up stakeholder workshops.

40.     A finalised destination management plan by the end of August 2021. We would look for feedback in between these two versions to ensure those who have been consulted throughout the process, are happy they have not missed anything, or an agenda has not been presented to their desires.

Ngā tāpirihanga






Regional Destination Management Plan Summary Proposal



Ngā kaihaina



Zac Watson - Product Development Manager – Industry, Tourism Innovation, Auckland Unlimited

Annie Dundas - Programme Manager Food & Beverage – Destination, Auckland Unlimited

Steve Armitage - General Manager – Destination, Auckland Unlimited 

Jacqui Fyers - Senior Local Board Advisor


Glenn Boyd - Local Area Manager


Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board

27 July 2021



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