Rotorua summer jobs boost as visitors flock in

By Katie Holland

The summer influx of visitors to Rotorua has been good news for job seekers, creating dozens of seasonal jobs in tourism and hospitality.

Skyline Rotorua has added 45 staff to its roster over the past four weeks _ more than double the number of seasonal staff it took on last summer.

Skyline general manager Bruce Thomasen said the operation required many extra staff over the summer months, including luge attendants, chefs and kitchen, restaurant and administration staff.

"With the variety of jobs being done each day during the busy summer period we get a great variety of staff working for us _ each bringing a different set of skills.''

During the annual peak season, which runs from December until March, about 170,000 people visit Skyline and they ride the luge tracks  around 300,000 times.

This year's intake of summer staff boosts the total to 135 full-time equivalent from about 95 during the rest of the year.

"We always get a lot of applications for positions when we advertise for extra staff during the peak season, there is never a shortage,'' Mr Thomasen said.

"Applicants include people from all over the world, particularly young people, and we enjoy having them here over the summer months.''

Te Puia chief executive officer Tim Cossar said the business had taken on an additional 26 workers, boosting its regular 85-strong staff.

"The summer period is the busiest time of the year for Te Puia, with large numbers of international and cruise manuhiri [visitors], as well as domestic visitors enjoying a summer holiday in Rotorua.''

He said the seasonal staff fulfilled a number of roles including guiding, food and beverage, retail and hosting the school holiday programme.

"We place a strong focus on ensuring the quality of our visitor experience is as high during this busy period as it is at every other time of the year,'' he said.

"We are expecting a positive summer season, particularly with key upcoming events such as Te Matatini, and the major carving work on the mahau that is  under way to support that event.''

Agrodome general manager Grant Kilby said about five or six extra casual staff would be taken on over the coming months, mainly to do farm work such as pruning kiwifruit.

He said the Chinese New Year in February was likely to be the peak time for the Agrodome, whose market was predominantly Asian.

Mr Kilby said the Christmas and New Year period had been busy and he expected that to continue through until at least March or April.

"We've been filled with lots of people coming to town and enjoying the great weather,'' he said.

At Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park no extra staff were taken on _ but part-timers and students were given increased hours, according to shop manager Ashleigh Waugh.

She said because staff took a while to train, the park employed school students throughout the year so they would be fully trained come the busy summer season.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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