Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Share Investor Q & A: Reader Questions to Tamaki Group Holding's Mike Tamaki

The latest Share Investor Q & A is a special one - it is the first one that has directly come out of the social media arena and the subject is from a private business and not a publicly listed one so there is likely to be more of a focus on the man behind the business and the back-story to that business rather than how well the company is doing financially. We will of course get his take on how the sector in which he is operating in is doing.

I found the subject via "Facebook friending" him and had some wild and whacky conversations on everything but business and investing and decided to give him some attention after a conversation we had about Tourism Holdings Ltd [THL.NZX] and its possible sale to Ballylinch LP, which left me wanting more.

Most would be familiar with his brother Brian Tamaki but Mike Tamaki really has let his love for Maori Culture, tourism, business and the combination of these three things to make a very successful tourism venture do the talking for him.

Mike is the founder and currently now joint owner/director of Tamaki Group Holdings with his brother Doug and their wives Karene and Kate and now employs over 120 staff across its two major attractions in Rotorua and Christchurch, with a third base to be built in Auckland's Manukau late 2011.

With the above in mind I thought I would like my readers to put some questions to Mike for a Share Investor Q & A and see what makes this guy and his business tick.

Please leave your questions here at the bottom of this post or email me here.

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c Share Investor 2011


  1. How do you see the overall tourism sector performing over the next year or so?

  2. Is the Maori culture aspect of New Zealand tourism not just a complete farce, and just as many people would come to visit if New Zealand was sold as Multi-cultural to the extend that Maori cultural played no important part in it (E.g Waitomo caves, Milford Track, Kaikoura Whales). Surely visitors to Rotorua would still come if there were not Marae visits, but just hot pools and luge rides.

  3. What impact, if any, has the last 3 years of the global economic slowdown had on your business and has it provided opportunities for you to expand?

  4. With the general demographics of visitors to NZ changing over the next 10 years or so, for example more middle class Asians being able to afford trips to different parts of the world.
    Do you have to adapt you business plan much to allow for such changes in demographics?

  5. Tex: interesting question and one that merits a lot of thought as this industry basically moves slowly out of what I would term “the perfect economical storm”.

    Currently the Tourism Industry is in about as bad a state as I have seen in my 28 years experience.

    I think the next 4 months (winter / down season) will be extremely tough for a lot of operators around NZ and if it wasn’t for the RWC event to shorten that off season, I think a lot of businesses would close down. The RWC comes in our shoulder season with the pick up (or lead in) starting around August and running into the beginning of our 2012 main season. I am quietly confident that 2012 will start picking up again once the shocks of natural events and world economic recession ease.

    Our major long haul conventional markets like the UK, U.S & Canada are still struggling to get back on their feet post recession and the numbers from these markets have certainly softened.

    Although there are reasonable reports of Aussies still crossing the ditch (our savior through the recession) the spend per capita from this market is somewhat lower than those markets above.

    Central Asia and China markets are increasing extremely well but this market is still in its infant stage and other destinations are vying extremely hard for this market also….so very competitive out there.

    The cruise market is an exciting market and the predicted numbers from this market in the coming season have forecasted some good numbers.

    Tourism South island without question, from the Christchurch earthquake and reduction in Christchurch visitor accommodation is impacting on tourism in the South Island. This has resulted in a 15-20% drop in visitor numbers for most Tourism businesses. Adding the GFR and other recent disasters we anticipate any recovery to take some time. This situation will challenge tourism and NZ in general

    Tourism accommodation providers are looking at a 15% decrease on guest nights over the next 6 months, not believing we will see much improvement in the next 18 months with visitors expecting more for less.

    Summary: mixed bag, china will be the market to watch over the next 12 months and Australia will be our biggest supporting market with a spike from the RWC event boosting us into the shoulder season for a ‘steady’ entry into 2012. Watch the cruise market with steady increases also. If a company gets through this off season 2012 will be their reward.

  6. The Chinese market will of course dominate in the long term.


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