Departing Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust general manager Malcolm Anderson has been credited with lifting the profile of Sanctuary Mountain and boosting its ability to tap into valuable tourist dollars.
Anderson announced he will leave the trust at the end of the month after 2 1/2 years at the helm.
In a statement, Anderson said it was time for "new challenges".
Trust co-chairman Tony Wilding said Anderson had played a key role in implementing the trust's visitor strategy and the opening of its visitor centre on Tari Rd debt-free.
Tapping into tourist dollars is seen as crucial as the trust tries to become less reliant on local government funding.
Wilding said Anderson also injected a high degree of professionalism into the trust's policies and planning, and in particular its health and occupational safety processes.
"It would be fair to say that with a lot of our systems we were quite lacking until Malcolm came along," Wilding said.
Anderson was also credited with successfully managing the extended visit of celebrity kakapo Sirocco to the mountain in 2012.
Sirocco will return to the pest-proof mountain on August 3.
"Sirocco's visit lifted the profile of Maungatautari and the profile of the endangered kakapo and helped us form a strong relationship between us and DOC [Department of Conservation] who are responsible for the recovery of the kakapo."
Despite the numerous successes under Anderson's watch, Wilding said the trust did struggle to secure sufficient funding and for the past year had not received any funds from DOC.
"We've all gone through a stressful period, including the trustees, but Malcolm has put us in a good place moving forward."
The Waikato Times was unable to reach Anderson for comment.
- Waikato Times
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