Tourism giant’s restructure a ‘minor adjustment’

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Queenstown tourism giant Real Journeys is proposing to cut jobs in its management, sales and marketing divisions.

Recently-appointed chief executive Richard Lauder says he informed staff of the possible changes during meetings last week but no decisions about how many redundancies there’ll be have been made yet.

Media reports have suggested about 12 positions could be made redundant across its Queenstown, Te Anau, Stewart Island and Milford Sound offices – but Lauder says the final number could be less than 12.

“The proposal is to make some changes and it is in order of that sort of number of potential positions out, but there is also a potential for six or seven new positions in the company,” he says.

“Some of the positions that the proposal is suggesting we may no longer require are already vacant positions.

“The actual numbers of people affected is likely to be significantly less than the number that is being reported by the media. But none of this is finalised because ultimate decisions haven’t been made.”

Since starting at Real Journeys in April, Lauder has conducted a review of all the company’s operations. No other staff – including frontline and operational crew – will be affected, he says.

“There’re some opportunities for change and to realign responsibilities in the organisation to enable Real Journeys to be a high-performance organisation going forward. We should always be looking at doing things to make the organisation better.”

He adds: “It’s a very minor adjustment that in effect, at the extreme, would affect two per cent of our staff.”

The move comes after six aircraft engineers employed by Milford Sound Flights – a company co-owned by Real Journeys – were made redundant in May.

Real Journeys employs about 400 people during its peak summer season and about 200 people over winter.

Lauder hopes to have the proposal finalised by the first week of September.