By TRACEY ROXBURGH
NZSki chief executive Paul Anderson says he’s not surprised Tourism Minister Stuart Nash doesn’t know who he is, but will ‘‘certainly’’ look to rectify that.
Anderson’s been in the top job with the owners of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mt Hutt skifields for almost nine years.
On Monday he was interviewed on RNZ’s Checkpoint about the government’s move to remove isolation requirements for Kiwis returning to New Zealand from Aussie from Wednesday, and Kiwis returning anywhere else from Friday.
During the interview, Anderson told host Lisa Owen ‘‘we haven’t seen Mr Nash down
here for quite some time, we haven’t seen any useful advocacy from Stuart Nash for our
sector — I would love to see a minister who advocates well for the tourism industry’’.
On Tuesday, when Owen put that to Nash, he rejected any suggestion he wasn’t working hard for the industry, said he’d been here about six times, most recently three weeks ago, and ‘‘every single time I’ve been to Queenstown I’ve met with the mayor’’.
Nash said he didn’t know who Anderson was, and when Owen pointed out he ‘‘operates three of the major skifields’’, Nash replied: ‘‘Well, he obviously hasn’t been in touch with my office to organise a meeting.’’
Anderson says he hasn’t been to any ‘‘specific’’ meetings with Nash and jokes, ‘‘I try to keep a low profile’’.
‘‘[But] I’ll certainly, if they don’t extend an invitation, say I’m available to have a chat and give some views from an operator’s perspective.’’
Of Monday’s announcement, Anderson says he’s reasonably confident tourists will be able to come to NZ before July, leading NZSki to be ‘‘more bullish’’ about its recruitment this year.
They’re proceeding on the basis Australians who want to work for the company ‘‘will be
able to get here for winter’’.
‘‘In many respects we’re in a fortunate position, the ski resorts, of being able to sit and
wait and get through this period and hope for the best for the future, but the businesses who are operating now are the ones who are doing it really tough.
‘‘I really feel for them.’’