Jobs slashed at WOW mu­seum

Nelson Mail - - Front Page - Tim New­man tim.new­man@stuff.co.nz

Fi­nan­cial pres­sures have forced World of Wear­ableArt to slash two thirds of its Nel­son-based staff.

WOW chief ex­ec­u­tive David Tingey said af­ter a con­sul­ta­tion process, staff from across the com­pany’s op­er­a­tions would be cut from 30 to just 10.

While the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s awards show is hosted in Welling­ton, all of the per­ma­nent staff have been based out of Nel­son.

The re­struc­tur­ing would in­clude the ‘‘moth­balling’’ of the World of Wear­ableArt and Clas­sic Cars Mu­seum in Nel­son, which will be out of ac­tion for at least 12 to 18 months while its fu­ture vi­a­bil­ity was as­sessed.

Tingey said the can­cel­la­tion of the 2020 World of Wear­ableArt Awards Com­pe­ti­tion and the 2020 World of Wear­ableArt Awards Show had cre­ated ‘‘an un­prece­dented chal­lenge’’ for the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

He said the can­cel­la­tions had brought WOW’s in­come streams ‘‘to a grind­ing halt al­most overnight’’, with im­me­di­ate and significan­t cost re­duc­tions the only way for the or­gan­i­sa­tion to come back strong for the fu­ture.

The 20 lost jobs in­cluded staff in­volved in the show, com­pe­ti­tion, pro­duc­tion, mar­ket­ing, com­mer­cial, fi­nance, ad­min­is­tra­tion, wardrobe, mu­seum and cafe´ as­pects of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Tingey said the cur­rent and fu­ture re­duc­tion in in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors was a big rea­son be­hind the moth­balling of the mu­seum.

‘‘We un­der­stand that the mu­seum has been an im­por­tant fix­ture in Nel­son from both a lo­cal and a vis­i­tor per­spec­tive since 2001 but in these un­prece­dented tough times, we have had to make this dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion’’.

He said the sta­tus of the mu­seum would be sub­ject to reg­u­lar re-as­sess­ment, but it was dif­fi­cult to pre­dict any fi­nal out­come at this stage. ‘‘We’re in the same po­si­tion as a lot of busi­nesses. ‘‘We just don’t know [what’s go­ing to hap­pen], that’s the prob­lem with plan­ning this stuff.’’

Tingey said the fo­cus for the re­main­ing staff would be run­ning the World of Wear­ableArt Awards Com­pe­ti­tion and the World of Wear­ableArt Awards Show, which pro­vided the bulk of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s in­come.

He said they were ‘‘pretty con­fi­dent’’ they would be able to run the show on the nor­mal sched­ule in Septem­ber/Oc­to­ber 2021.

Tingey said at the heart of the re­struc­tur­ing changes was the de­sire to en­sure the con­tin­u­a­tion ‘‘of a revered cre­ative icon for New Zealand’’.

‘‘This re­spon­si­bil­ity is felt deeply, and on that ba­sis, tough de­ci­sions have been made. We are deeply sad­dened about the im­pact on our staff.

‘‘We are work­ing hard to do ev­ery­thing we can to look af­ter them’’.

‘‘‘This re­spon­si­bil­ity is felt deeply, and on that ba­sis, tough de­ci­sions have been made.’’ David Tingey WOW chief ex­ec­u­tive

BRADEN FASTIER/ STUFF

WOW Chief ex­ec­u­tive David Tingey said the fi­nan­cial pres­sures on the or­gan­i­sa­tion could only be over­come through "significan­t and im­me­di­ate" cost re­duc­tions.˘

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