Tourism, business guru who's career's carved in ancestor's footsteps

Mike Gibbons was genetically programmed to carve a career in tourism.

His great great grandfather, Chief Tanetinorau, discovered Waitomo Caves in 1887, pioneering the visitor attraction they've since become.

But this isn't a story about this early Māori entrepreneur but about his descendant, Mike Gibbons, whose name's intrinsically linked to this region's tourism sector and beyond.

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On the eve of the opening of TRENZ, the nation's largest tourism sales pitch to the international market place, Our People inveigled him into taking us caving through his personal time tunnel.

What becomes apparent