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Cruise New Zealand elects new chairman at Napier meeting

Helen Hutcheon
Winsome Dormer of Independent Provedoring Lyttelton (left) congratulates Kevin O'Sullivan and Debbie Summers
Cruise New Zealand chairman Graeme Marshall, who retired as commercial manager for Port of Tauranga, did not seek re-election at the association's annual general meeting on Friday.  The incoming chairman is former deputy chairman Kevin O’Sullivan, regional harbourmaster and maritime manager for Environment Southland, one of New Zealand’s most spectacular cruise areas, covering all the sounds in Fiordland, Foveaux Strait and Stewart Island.

Debbie Summers, sales and marketing manager for IDNZ who was made an executive director of the inbound travel agency and cruise line ground handler earlier this year, is CNZ’s new deputy chairman.

Other members of the 2014-15 board are CNZ founder Craig Harris of ISS-McKay, Geraldine Hutchison (Air New Zealand), Leigh Robins (Ports of Auckland), Jason Hill (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development), Caroline Blanchfield (Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism) and Tony Petrie (Renaissance Tours). 

Cruise New Zealand 2014 was held in Napier, gateway to the stunning vineyards of Hawke’s Bay on the eastern coast of the North Island. It is billed as the Art Deco capital of the world following its reconstruction after a devastating earthquake in 1931. 

Major sponsors were Napier’s Museum Theatre Gallery, Hawke’s Bay Tourism and the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

Hawke’s Bay Mayor Bill Dalton, whose family has been in Napier for 150 years, welcomed the 140 delegates and said the city is proud of what it offers cruise ship passengers.

‘From the Art Deco welcome on the wharf, to the time our visitors return to their ships, we try to show them what makes Napier so special,’ Dalton said.

This includes ‘our beautiful gardens, the way we keep our city clean, the way our attractions are close to the city and, most of all, our friendly and helpful people.’

Napier Port hosted lunch at the Art Deco Masonic Hotel, an Art Deco institution on the waterfront with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Art Deco Trust hosted a cocktail party, complete with jazz-age singers and dancers, before dinner at historic Mission Estate Winery.

O’Sullivan said CNZ’s third annual open conference will be held in Auckland around August next year—the date to be advised—and the board will seek bids from regional ports for 2016.