Message from Chairman Debbie Summers

Welcome to the 2019 yearly address as your New Zealand Cruise Association (NZCA) Chairman.  It is great to be able to represent you and our cruise industry, in this way and to share this update of the continued work of the NZCA.

Our growth is set to continue however growth brings increased visibility which is true often within tourism however perhaps even more so with vessel sizes and berthing in the heart of communities. Media attention is at an all-time high and communities are demanding balance and sustainability, and rightly so. There is a need for increased infrastructure to enable positive tourism growth. We are on the tipping point of losing what we have fought so hard to win in the first place.

There are a record number of new cruise ships on order globally of all sizes and New Zealand continues to open up new regions such as Bluff, New Plymouth and Whangarei. We have surpassed that magical 1000 port call bookings for the 2019/20 season ahead. An impressive 370,000 + cruise visitors will visit our shores next season. This means a 13% increase for the coming year and businesses are benefiting far and wide within our country.

At the forefront of this growth is NZCA’s purpose to lead the sector, ensuring that the New Zealand cruise industry remains a cohesive, sustainable and viable business within the New Zealand tourism economy. Advocacy has become our main and necessary focus. Our alliances with Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Industry Aotearoa, CLIA Australasia and the Australian Cruise Association are essential. Never before has the spotlight on tourism, and within that, the NZ cruise tourism sector been shone so brightly.

Our value, in collaboration and alignment with industry partners, is to provide and deliver effective Advocacy, Education, Promotion and Services to you, our members, the wider sector stakeholders and communities. These are the pillars of NZCA and something the Board and CEO have been working hard to achieve on your behalf.

Advocate

  • Mooring Dolphin Auckland, Hearing Feb 2019, was granted consent then appealed by two entities. We have lodged Notice to Environment Court and will participate in mediation and present evidence to the Court if there is a hearing.
  • Worked with Immigration NZ on changes to the Border Clearance Levy and ETA with particular reference to crew.
  • Continue working with MPI on changes to biofouling regulations – mandatory from 2018, NZCA continues to ensure that cruise lines are well aware of the New Zealand requirements.
  • Lobbied Auckland Council on the Harbourmaster charge on anchoring and dynamic positioning in Auckland harbour, successfully leveraging it to be an annual instead of a per port visit fee.
  • Maritime New Zealand lobbied in regards to steep (75%) increases in levy charges. This levy will now apply and proceed however we will continue to contest this alongside the cruise lines.
  • In Timaru we have worked with PrimePort supporting the installation of shore-based bollards. PrimePort will take the first cruise ship back in Jan 2020.
  • Infrastructure meetings with Lyttelton Port Company, pile work is well and truly commenced and completion date is running to time for November 2020. There are over 75 firm cruise bookings in place for 2020/21 season.

Educate

  • Delivering successful annual Conferences – last year in Blenheim hosting record regional numbers and this year back in Auckland.
  • Assisting members to educate communities on cruise:
    • Community presentations pre & post cruise season.
    • Working with member regions on the development of cruise in new destinations.
  • We have been successful in attracting new members and our membership base has risen from 90 to more than 100 cruise industry stakeholders.
  • We are liaising closely with the hotel community and have been working with them to provide joint benefits to both sectors.
  • Together with CLIA and the Australian Cruise Association we have produced ‘Working Together the Cruise Industry Sustainability Guide’, which provides good positive messages about the cruise industry’s strong track record on environmental sustainability
  • We have increased recognition within the New Zealand and International Media and fought hard against the wave of negative misreporting that has occurred this last season. This remains a constant challenge and we invite all Members to help us dispel those tourism myths out there.

Promote

  • Signatory to TIAKI Promise.
  • Continue to attend as a Member of the Industry Leaders Group in Auckland.
  • MOU with Global Port Associations.
  • In conjunction with Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) we represented New Zealand at the USA Cruise Global industry conference.
  • USA meetings at cruise line head offices before and during Seatrade Cruise Global and representing New Zealand on a regionally focused panel alongside CLIA Australasia and Australia Cruise Association.
  • Representing NZCA at Global Ports Association annual meeting in Miami.
  • Working closely with TNZ to promote cruise destinations through nation-wide cruise line executive visits and attendance at Seatrade Cruise Global.

Service

  • Working with Statistics New Zealand to produce an annual economic report. We are receiving valuable data from NZ Stats and will continue to work with them to be ever more inclusive.
  • Employment on a part time basis of Bethany Yee, providing support to CEO.
  • Our fresh, new user-friendly website launched last year continues to provide information on NZCA, including up to date cruise schedules and cruise industry news.
  • Increased communications with members and the wider community
    • Regular emails to members, including items of interest and updates
    • Improved social media presence – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn
    • Increased direct engagement with current and new members throughout the cruise regions.

Challenges

  • Auckland infrastructure: Queens wharf dolphin has now moved through the resource consent process and we will continue to provide input into the Environment Court appeal process.
  • Further taxes on visitors are proposed by central government, which will impact on the cruise industry as well as the wider tourism industry. We will continue to work with government and TIA in particular, to mitigate this impact in any way possible, however it is inescapable that our country is now considered a high cost destination by the cruise industry.
  • Congestion issues are increasing in New Zealand. NZCA is working with several pinch point regions (and cruise lines) to determine where the problems are and to provide solutions.
  • Obtaining accurate robust & relevant cruise data has always been a challenge however we are working closely with Statistics New Zealand solely to ensure that our information is accurate and storytelling in the way it needs to be.

Our AGM and Welcome Function is in the Aotea Centre, Auckland, on 22nd August (note change of venue). The following day, 23rd August, the full day conference, also at the Aotea Centre. What better place to showcase where we greet and farewell our cruise guests? The ‘Shaping the Future’ conference programme tackles our most topical issue facing us right now. Auckland and its critical importance to our sector. We have an excellent line up of international cruise line executives and industry experts who are guaranteed to make this conference the best yet.

NZCA exists only due to the good will and hard work of everyone involved so I thank you for your continued support. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the NZCA Board and CEO for all of their hard work this last year.

Nga mihi nui

 

Debbie Summers
NZCA Chairman 2019