Hawke's Bay is a much bigger player on the stage then it realises, according to events promotions manager Phillip Purvis.

However, Mr Purvis says for the province to realise its potential the mentality of people will have to change.

"I'm not anti-amalgamation or pro-amalgamation [of Hastings and Napier] but what I am is pro-Hawke's Bay so let's get everyone together from a regional perspective and leave our egos at home," says the former Bay man who lives with his wife and three children in south-west France but intends returning here to settle if he can find employment.

The 44-year-old has been in Napier for a fortnight to oversee the fleet transportation logistics at McLean Park during the ICC World Cup pool matches, which ended here on Sunday.


His resume includes similar roles with the Sydney 2000 Olympics, European Football Championship, Uefa Champions League, Commonwealth Games, Rugby World Cup, athletics championships and World Equestrian Games.

Mr Purvis says the Bay has enormous potential in sport, leisure and business tourism.

"It's just about utilising the facilities we already have in place to an optimal degree."

Mr Purvis said McLean Park was not being used to its full potential.

"People focus a lot on sport and rightly so, because the weather is fantastic and the venue for its capacity is brilliant for its rugby and cricket.

"But it's not only just about sport but also about bringing businesses to Napier to fill up the restaurants, hotels and just getting people to spend money while they are here."

He says it's got to be good for the Napier economy first and then the Bay.

"It's not just about the All Blacks or CD cricket or the Black Caps or the boats or the Art Deco. "It has to be more strategically aligned where we're pulling together the three key areas."


It is imperative to work with Tourism Hawke's Bay "to ensure everyone's on the same page". The Bay's "endless supply of voluteers" is commendable.

"But there's an expression in events - there's no such thing as a free volunteer.

"The volunteers are giving us their time and energy so those elements are free but you have to train them, feed them and dress them."

Mr Purvis calls his team of 55 to help co-ordinate transportation during the World Cup in the past fortnight the "Bayvol (Bay volunteer) Army".

"Surely, if we formalise that in the way we're training and using the same systems for the same events, 90 per cent of them will want to be involved in events and promote Napier and Hawke's Bay."

A one-off training, he feels, will create a template where people will start training themselves.

"These people are so happy and so willing to be involved," he says, stressing no sport in the world survives without free helpers.

"The Cricket World Cup in Napier would have been impossible without the volunteers, so you can apply that to every other event you try to bring to the region.

"You'll be saving so much money in training and resources because you're using the same things."

No doubt there'll be an evolution of resources, through depreciation, which will require changes.

"You want volunteers and paid staff to be comfortable doing what they are doing and people will gravitate to particular roles because there are natural leaders among us who'll step forward to say okay, 'I understand that'."

It's a concept Mr Purvis has discussed with Napier City Council chief executive Wayne Jack, who agrees.

"We haven't even talked about the development of infrastructure and linking that to Sport Hawke's Bay's initiative to amalgamate clubs to share administrative costs, locations etcetera.

"We need to align resources to get everyone on the same page, removing their egos to the point where we're not not doing something because he or she doesn't like it.

"Maybe I'm talking about utopia, but it's definitely possible."