New co­or­di­na­tor for Catlins Coast

Clutha Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - RICHARD DAVISON

Catlins Coast Inc has a new project co­or­di­na­tor.

Qui­etly break­ing her­self into the role since July 1 has been long­stand­ing Kaka Pt res­i­dent Lisa Big­i­nato.

Hav­ing fa­mil­iarised her­self with the many facets of her new post over re­cent weeks, Big­i­nato is now champ­ing at the bit to get things rolling, and wants to hear from those keen to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence in the in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar tourist re­gion.

‘‘The project co­or­di­na­tor role is all about work­ing closely with the other or­gan­i­sa­tions that have a stake in the Catlins, and mak­ing sure ev­ery­body is kept in­formed through reg­u­lar and ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tions,’’ she said.

‘‘With the re­cent launch of the Catlins Coast Inc re­vised 2016-2026 Catlins Com­mu­nity Tourism Strat­egy, it’s my job to help fa­cil­i­tate the drive for­ward along­side other or­gan­i­sa­tions, and de­liver the projects iden­ti­fied.’’

Orig­i­nally from the United King­dom, Big­i­nato had lived in the Catlins for 20 years, dur­ing which she had re­tained a keen in­ter­est in the lo­cal area and been in­volved in var­i­ous com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties. Oth­ers who wished to vol­un­teer time, skills and re­sources to the ben­e­fit of fu­ture Catlins projects should get in touch, she said.

‘‘Catlins vis­i­tor num­bers have jumped by 15 per cent over the past year, and by at least a third since 2008, so it would seem we’re be­com­ing a very pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion within New Zealand, high­light­ing the im­por­tance of the projects ahead.’’

A wide range of projects had been iden­ti­fied, pri­ori­ti­sa­tion one of her tasks.

‘‘There’s a lot to be done, in­clud­ing event plan­ning, fur­ther re­gional in­ter­pre­ta­tion pan­els for places like Slope Point, and re­view­ing the Catlins care code, brochure and tear-off map, so I’m with first look­ing for­ward to get­ting some of th­ese things hap­pen­ing on the ground, and com­ing to even­tual fruition.’’

Out­door en­thu­si­asts could look for­ward to a scenic Catlins walk early in the New Year, with de­tails to be con­firmed, Big­i­nato said.

The Catlins Coast web­site, catlins.org.nz, would be reg­u­larly up­dated with events and calls for vol­un­teers, with in­ter­ested par­ties also able to find the Tourism Strat­egy on­line at the site.

Peo­ple wish­ing to vol­un­teer could also con­tact her di­rectly, at projects@catlins.org.nz.

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