Under an MOU between Destination Coromandel and the Maritime Park Trust, the purpose of this project was to provide the trust with a detailed plan to help guide and assist the organisation to build a memorable tourism attraction and experience, through the development of the River Cruise product.
In the process of developing the plan and identifying key elements that would enable the development of a successful river cruise experience, it was identified that significant components were missing, and in order for the river cruises to deliver a high-value visitor experience that is financially viable and locally supported, further work is required within the park grounds and with key partners, to firstly build business capability and develop processes.
To establish a commercially viable tourism attraction in Paeroa, that would celebrate the diverse maritime history at the site and provide access to the stories of the Waihou and Ōhinemuri Rivers.
- A low carbon financially viable visitor experience
- Telling the rich and diverse history of the land and the connection and significance to mana whenua,
- Sharing the stories of the early European visitors,
- Provide a place of employment,
- Create a place that provides a platform to enable positive impacts on the local environment, and restore the area with endemic plants.
- The development of a product development plan and marketing template
- Employment of a coordinator in collaboration with Gr8 Jobs Hauraki and Hauraki District Council, for a fixed term
- Financially supported story telling resources
- Supported a photo shoot
- The park's coordinator has increased their wedding enquirers, hosted shorter river cruises in support, hosted small scale events, developed policies and contracts
Increased Wedding Enquiries
Hosted Famil Experiences
Commissioned a Photo Shoot
Under the government Strategic Assets Protection Programme 2021, Destination Hauraki Coromandel provided support (under an MOU) to the Maritime Park to develop a business plan and marketing strategy, to help the trust move forward in achieving the vision to create a viable, low-carbon visitor attraction that promotes the historical, environmental and cultural significance of the area.
The report acknowledges that while there is a great team of passionate people involved in the Park, they are in a voluntary capacity and come with limited resources and specialised expertise. To help ensure the success of the river cruises, it was the recommendation of the report that the Historical Maritime Park invests in developing the park's facilities into a place that people want to come time and again with their families, to enjoy, relax and make memories.
In order for the Historical Maritime Park to further develop the park grounds and build on weddings, conferences, events, and ultimately river cruises, the report also recommended employing a paid product development facilitator to enable its progress. Destination Hauraki Coromandel, along with Gr8 Jobs Hauraki and the support of the Hauraki District Council collaborated to enable this to progress.
Long Term Plan
The desired long-term plan will be that the Historical Maritime Park in Paeroa will become a commercially viable tourism attraction, that would celebrate the diverse maritime history at the area, and provides access to the stories of the Waihou and Ōhinemuri Rivers.
In achieving this, the park will provide employment opportunities (skippers, groundsmen, administration roles, guides etc.) while continuing to host community events, weddings, conferences, the annual light festivals, and regularly scheduled river cruises.
Enabling these experiences to prosper, the park would develop additional experiences, in keeping with the stories of the area and the rivers. The opportunity to integrate cultural stories into specific events also provides a pathway to further develop partnerships which are key to ensuring dual representation. These will complement the existing offerings of the park, which include; museum, resident animals, kayak hire, and overnight stays for self-contained vehicles.
Ultimately the Historical Maritime Park will create a place of 'home' where stories are shared and history comes alive. Visitors will amplify the vibe of the area and create a vibrant place where we see people coming back time and again.