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