In March 2019, Waikato District Council sought tenders for an operator to run the Raglan i-SITE. Unfortunately, no tenders were received. Council then asked the current provider, Waikato Enterprise Agency, to stay on for a further 6 months so that a full review of the i-SITE could happen to better inform a way forward.
i-SITE’s provide promotion for New Zealand, the region and the district. During the review period, statistics were gathered that showed the majority of the enquiries came from people who were already holidaying in Raglan and wanted more information about local walks, events etc.
Waikato district Mayor Allan Sanson says the i-SITE is funded from district-wide rates and it would be hard to justify to all district rate payers how they’re benefiting from a Raglan focused service.
Therefore, after much deliberation and a discussion with the Raglan Community Board, Council has made the decision to end the i-SITE service from the end of June 2020.
Mayor Allan says Waikato District Council is very much committed to tourism in the district and to supporting tourism in Raglan. “As one of the district’s main tourist destinations, further discussions will take place with the Raglan Community Board to look at alternative options to promote tourism in Raglan.
“We provide financial support to Hamilton Waikato Tourism and will continue to support this organisation to promote regional and district tourism while also supporting the Raglan community to come up with their own ideas,” he said.
Mayor Allan thanked Waikato Enterprise Agency for the 26 years they have given to running i-SITE’s in the district.
Raglan Community Board Chairperson Gabrielle Parson is feeling positive about the changes.
“Through discussions with the community we understand there is a range of exciting options for what might happen with this space. The Raglan Community Board will be working with the community and the Museum Committee over the next couple of months to look at those options, including a possible information centre model at the current i-Site location. A community proposal will be presented to Council to seek support and collaboration”, said Gabrielle.