For Shane Gorst, getting the nod as the Art Deco Trust's new general manager was pretty simply " a match made in heaven".

It all lined up.

Auckland born, he wanted to bring his young family to Hawke's Bay for the lifestyle, and on that note they are loving it here.

He was also keen to find a position which would embrace his love of working for the community through a role within a trust or foundation - as he did for several years in his previous position as chief executive of Make-a-Wish New Zealand.


While in Napier a while back he and his wife visited the Art Deco centre and shop, and both were delighted with what they came across - and it was over a glass of wine later he heard there was a position going as the trust's general manager in the wake of former GM Sally Jackson leaving to take on a managerial role with the Napier City Council's Visitor Experience section.

"It really appealed to me," Mr Gorst said on Monday - his fourth day on the job.

"And I am very humbled to get it because there is just an incredible amount of heart in this trust."

Before taking on the Make-a-Wish job Mr Gorst spent about 10 years working in retail management and development and saw the work that the trust engaged in when it set up a spot in one the stores he was visiting on business.

"You could see what a trust could do for a community," he said, so when he heard of the Art Deco role, having already been aware of what it had achieved for the region, he wanted to be part of it.

Trust chair Kathy Hill was delighted to get Mr Gorst on board as he brought a wealth of experience in sponsorship and volunteer management, two key areas within the scope of the trust.

"He comes highly recommended as a motivator of staff and a builder of strong management teams."

Mr Gorst said he was also passionate about heritage protection and was understandably proud to see what had been involved within the Art Deco landscape.

"The list of things I love about Napier and the Art Deco Trust is getting longer by the moment - what stood out for me most is definitely the passion, commitment and vision shared by everyone that I have met," he said.

"It is the spirit and the vision of our people that reflect and keep alive the same qualities that were intrinsic to our founders, the people of Napier and those that came from far and wide to offer help when it was most needed.

"The incredible efforts of those that have come before us have left us with a unique and special place that absolutely deserves to be protected, celebrated and shared."

Mr Gorst said it was a privilege to be part of "such a special organisation" doing such crucial work and added he was excited about the future of the trust and the region.

He was quick to pay tribute to the team of devoted volunteers, many of whom had put in 15 or 20 years service.

"One of them has just turned 90 - an amazing woman."

Mr Gorst said Mrs Jackson, his predecessor, would continue to work in with the trust through her role with Visitor Experience.