The privately run and operated Dargaville and Kauri Coast Visitor Information Centre is closing its doors after nine years in operation.
Dargaville River and Rail tourism director John Hansen said the impact on his business will be huge.
"About 40 per cent of our bookings come through the centre," he said.
"Sue was very proactive and very supportive of all the tourist operators in the region. I just think it's an absolute shame that it's closed, as it's vital to our local tourism industry."
Sue and Rick Taylor initially took over the operation of the information centre, with Sue as manager, after the Kaipara District Council closed its own I-site in 2009. It cited at the time financial losses as the reason for its closure, with an annual operating loss of $40,000.
Sue and husband Rick, who operates the renown Woodturners Kauri Gallery, decided to share their building located in Mangawhare to help cover phone costs, eftpos and, "of course my time", said Sue.
"The council did not fund us, we funded it ourselves."
She said the decision to close down was because after nine years of operation, they felt they had run it long enough.
"I think it's about time the council should take over the responsibility for it.
"We have really enjoyed promoting Dargaville and the Kauri Coast. We have met some really lovely visitors to this region, we have enjoyed working with the motel/hotel owners and tourist operators.
One man's trash another man's treasure, but is it safe?
"We are agents for Inter City, Inter Islander and many other companies, so sadly bookings for these will no longer be able to be processed for local residents and visitors once the Visitor Information Centre closes."
Sue instead hopes the council will consider stepping up and taking ownership of the centre.
"We have offered the Kaipara District Council the opportunity to rent the building we are in so the Visitor Information Centre can remain open."
However, KDC spokesman Benjamin Hope said at this stage there is no alternative plans of funding to open another I-site.
"In the Long Term Plan 2018/2028 council made a decision to support investigation into how we can increase support for Kaipara's tourism sector as a whole, however there are no budgets specifically included for visitor information services."
Parkview Motel owner Matt Diack said he was disappointed in the council's decision and saddened to hear of Sue's departure.
"I don't know why the council won't fund it. But if they did I think they should keep Sue on. She would be wonderful. I just don't know why they're not doing it."
Diack attributes "easily 20-25 per cent of our bookings come from the information centre".
"The decision to close it is a negative one, it's not helping the town or district at all and it's quite sad."
John Hansen agrees, "The council needs to step in because it's a very important part of tourism and yeah – they're going on about how important tourism is. Well they need to step up and do something about it."
Fia fia afternoon
Culture, dance, food, entertainment summed up St Josephs Primary School's Fia fia night.
Senior students from the school put on the Fia fia afternoon dance and dinner to raise funds for a school trip later in the year.
St Josephs Primary School teacher Carla Hill said the event was made possible with the help of many people in the school community.
"A big thank you to everyone who helped, supported, donated and more with our awesome Fia fia afternoon.
"It was fantastic learning for them all and they did it all with smiles on their faces. It was wonderful beginning steps towards their Wellington trip."
Senior students from the school plan to visit Wellington later this year and visit Parliament, Weta Workshop and Capital E.
Girls Brigade - Mad Hatters Tea Party
It was a tea party like no other.
The 1st Dargaville Girls brigade hosted a Mad Hatters Tea Party to celebrate the relationship between mother and daughter.
As a result about 60 girls and their mothers were treated to a generous high tea which included a variety of finger foods displayed on a tiered stand and of course teas as well as fizzy drink were served in teapots.
Just before high tea was served, mums and daughters also got to enjoy designing their own tea cups as well as making their own pin hats. They also had a photo booth where they could dress up in an array of crazy hats and have their pictures taken.
1st Dargaville Girls Brigade team leader Pauline Taylor said everyone looked to have have a wonderful time. "All the feedback was 100 per cent positive."
Taylor said the day was made possible with the help of Youth With a Mission (YWAM) team who had come up for the day from Paparoa.
"They came and they helped with the street appeal we held earlier in the week as well and the mother-daughter party and they've done this for a number of years now."
Taylor said she was grateful also to Foundation North which funded this event and three other events the Girls Brigade is set to host later this year, such as the father daughter day.
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