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Changes ahead for Waiwera

Last updated 10:54 19/07/2012

FRESH DIRECTION: New friends from Auckland, Sam Brand, left, and Matthew Valivaka, enjoy the Lazy River at Waiwera Thermal Resort.

FRESH DIRECTION: New friends from Auckland, Sam Brand, left, and Matthew Valivaka, enjoy the Lazy River at Waiwera Thermal Resort.

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Waiwera Thermal Resort has changed direction under new ownership and management.

The resort is moving towards becoming an accessible, family friend-ly, theme-parked swimming complex, general manager David Kidd says.

Mr Kidd is in his third week on the job, but already sees a change of direction on the horizon.

"The resort has a new owner, Mikhail Khimich, who insists we move towards a community-focused facility," Mr Kidd says.

Step one of the change will be the provision of bringing your own food back into the resort.

"There was a lot of bad press when there were restrictions placed on visitors, not allowing them to bring in their own food. I understand the reason for this was an increase of rubbish and glass around the pool area.

"Apparently there were a lot of people put off by that policy, so we are considering options. One of those is providing specific areas where visitors can eat and bring their own food in designated areas of the complex," Mr Kidd says.

"Another change we are looking at is adding new slides.

"Right now we are considering buying two new slides that would feed into the Lazy River area. They would be for children and families. At the moment we have a baby or toddler area, and some bigger slides for older children or adults, but not much for that age group.

"We want to have an overall grand plan for the whole complex, so when we choose slides and where to put them then it will all fit together, and work better for different age groups.

"But at the end of the day, installing new slides comes down to cost. So we have to do things gradually, and the more people we have come through the more we can do in the future."

Waiwera Thermal Resort will also be promoting a Super Saver Pass for families. There will also be a $15 12-month membership for Rodney and Hibiscus Coast residents.

Mr Kidd, a Nelson resident, is one of several new staff involved in the Waiwera brand, which now includes Waiwera Water, Waiwera Organic Winery, and the Waiwera Thermal Resort.

Mr Kidd previously worked for Exxon in Papau New Guinea helping maintain accommodation for 11,000 employees working on an oil drilling operation.

Before then he spent 25 years in the hotel and hospitality industry, including several years at The Hermitage at Mt Cook.

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