• Dr Lockwood Smith

Tourism Minister Lockwood Smith has released details of the Tourism Board's expenditure related to the Board's recent review of its structure, effectiveness and strategic direction.

In December 1998 the New Zealand Tourism Board undertook a comprehensive review in order to reduce overhead costs, and to ensure that it was well-placed to meet the challenges of promoting New Zealand as a visitor destination in a rapidly changing global environment. This review resulted in costs of $296,732 to an international consulting firm, and $141,289 for specialist human resource consultants.

The Board agreed in March 1999 to implement the review's recommendations which resulted in 20 redundancies at a cost of $507,667. Total redundancy costs were $1,427,090, which include the severance costs of the Board's former Chair, Deputy Chair and Chief Executive.

Expenditure on legal fees totalled $305,181, which included $197,946 for advice on the Auditor-General's inquiry into the Tourism Board, and advice on intellectual property rights associated with the development of the Board's Global Marketing Campaign.

The Tourism Board also spent $121,364 on the recruitment of five senior staff, including an international search and advertising costs for a new Chief Executive Officer. Advertising costs of $4,219,802 reflect a core activity of the Board, and the expenditure of $1,287,378 on public relations is down from $1,554,668 in the previous year.

"I'm very enthusiastic about the direction of the Tourism Industry in New Zealand, and I have full confidence that the Tourism Board is well placed to continue to promote New Zealand as a visitor destination as we move into the new Millennium," Dr Smith concluded.