Hamilton & Waikato Tourism is a subsidiary of the Waikato Regional Airport Limited (WRAL) and has an independent skills based board of directors including:
- Annabel Cotton (Chair)
- Steve Gow
- Richard Leggat
- Mark Morgan (Representative of WRAL)
Meet the team
Jason oversees the day-to-day running of Hamilton & Waikato Tourism and manages the key relationships with funders, tourism operators, local communities, local government and national agencies for the organisation. He is available for presentations and tourism updates on behalf of the sector.
What is your number 1 insider tip for the region? Enjoy some of the great foodie experiences our region has to offer! The Waikato is bursting with artisan food producers, coffee roasters, growers markets, roadside stalls, craft breweries and unique café experiences. Hamilton is also home to some of this country’s most-awarded restaurants which are just exceptional.
What is your favourite hidden gem in the region? Not really a hidden gem, but watching the wild west coast in action at the top of Wainui Reserve in Raglan is pretty spectacular. Whether it be during a storm or full sunshine, there is something invigorating about getting sea air into your lungs while watching the swell roll in.
What do you love most about your job? Promoting our wonderful region with our talented and passionate operators! People create memorable experiences and our hosts and guides are some of the best in the country.
Rebecca leads Hamilton & Waikato Tourism's leisure marketing team, working closely with travel trade, media and industry partners on various campaigns and initiatives to promote the region to domestic and international visitors.
What is your number 1 insider tip for the region? Make sure you spend some time around our waterways while you are here - whether it’s the mighty Waikato River, one of our many picturesque lakes or waterfalls or out on Raglan’s black sand beaches.
What is your favourite hidden gem in the region? There are so many to choose from but I’d definitely recommend popping in to one of our local ice cream makers to try some of their delicious scoops. Most well-known is Hamilton’s iconic Duck Island Ice cream which offers imaginative dairy and non-dairy flavour combinations including my fav – white chocolate & miso. Yum!!
What do you love most about your job? The people! We’re really lucky to work within such a vibrant industry filled with passionate and interesting people.
Nicola is our Development Manager – she provides support to existing operators to further develop their visitor proposition; and support to new visitor products developing in the region.
What is your number 1 insider tip for the region? When visiting our region – give yourself PLENTY of time to explore – guarantee you will find much more to see and do than you expected!
What do you love most about your job? The enthusiasm and resilience of our people! We have great people in our region (and our office!) who passionately share the beauty of our region.
If you could do one job for a week – what would it be? Photographer! I enjoy being creative with a camera (with varying degrees of success) – would love to be PAID to take photos – particularly in our own region.
Business Events Manager
Aimee oversees the conference & business events arm of the organisation. Aimee looks forward to meeting and working with all our operators and continuing to position the Waikato as the strong business events destination that it is. This is Aimee’s second time working for Hamilton & Waikato Tourism, returning after spending the last five years working in the sponsorship and events space in the agricultural sector.
What do you love most about your job? I love that every day is different and that I get to promote a region that I truly believe in
If you could do one job for a week – what would it be? Children’s book author. I’d have to write really fast as I couldn’t just start, I would have to also finish it within the week!
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I love walking, be it into town or on one of the many amazing walking tracks we have in the Waikato. I also love biking with friends and family along the Waikato River or into town for a sneaky weekend Starbucks.
Marketing Coordinator – Media & Consumer
Amber manages media liaison and famil coordination working alongside Tourism New Zealand and our local industry to promote the region via media channels, as well as managing the day to day administrative tasks of the organisation and providing marketing support to the entire HWT team.
What is your favourite hidden gem in the region? Te Toto Gorge Raglan – stunning views of the west coast.
What do you love most about your job? There is something new to learn every day, no two days are the same.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I love getting out and exploring all the natural wonders our region has to offer.
Business Events Administrator
Harriet works with Amanda in the Business Events team helping to co-ordinate conferences, meetings and business events in the region.
What do you love most about your job? The people we work with! Everyone in this industry is so genuine and passionate about our region.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Getting outdoors and exploring the natural beauty of our region and country. We are lucky to have so many beautiful places on our doorstep.
If you could do one job for a week – what would it be? A wedding planner and stylist! I love weddings, flowers, décor, to-do lists etc.
Trade Marketing Coordinator
Abby works closely with travel trade to promote the region to domestic and international visitors, and works with the rest of the marketing team on domestic campaigns.
What is your number 1 insider tip for the region? Be sure to thoroughly explore all of the walks the Waikato has on offer, there are a range of stunning views from so many perspectives, plus the time spent in our native bush is awesome! There are so many more walks available than you realise, and plenty to suit all abilities. One of my favourites has got to be Wairere Falls with the best reward of a view at the top, and one of the prettiest is the Blue Spring at Te Waihou Walkway in Putaruru.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? One of my favourite things is exercising in the great outdoors with friends and family, any excuse to get my legs burning and my mouth chatting. I also love eating yummy food with friends, whether that’s out at one of the region’s great restaurants or with a platter at home.
If you could do one job for a week – what would it be? Definitely stylist or interior designer! I love shopping, and checking out new colours, patterns, textures, and bringing all the little details together to make a stunning final picture.
Digital Marketing Executive
Natasha is our online guru looking after all things digital marketing (website, social media, communications, marketing campaigns) as well as working with the wider team on our domestic marketing campaigns and other activities.
What is your favourite hidden gem in the region? Omaru Falls, south of Te Kuiti - you will need to take a short walk to get to the viewing platform, but it’s well worth the adventure.
What is your number 1 insider tip for the region? Make sure to have your camera ready when visiting the region - you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to breathtaking photo opportunities.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I enjoy going to the beach - beaches are the definition of untouched beauty, and they offer endless amounts of relaxation. And we have amazing beaches in the region.
Sarah’s role is based around coordinating the specific projects that have arisen from the STAPP funding for the next 12 months.
What is your number 1 insider tip for the region?
Allow for more time at places than you think you’ll need! I don’t know about you, but dedicating time for exploration is one thing and ACTUALLY appreciating your surroundings is a whole other experience! Having moments to explore and play within our region is so rare so leave your phone at home and really get into the moment!
What do you love most about your job?
I’m still the new kid on the block so everything is new and exciting! Anyone that knows me knows I love a challenge! So the fact that my job can pull me away from my desk at any point to connect with new people is a big plus for me!
If you could do one job for a week – what would it be?
Definitely a Zoo Keeper! I’m a sucker for a cuddle, but more importantly I’m all about educating others on what they can do - no matter how small – to be able to make positive changes to the environment!
Event Secretariat – Regional Events Fund
Caz provides event secretariat duties for the Thermal Explorer (Hamilton & Waikato, Rotorua, Ruapehu, Taupo) Event Investment Panel in relation to the Regional Events Fund including developing the investment plan, event funding application process and evaluation process as well as establishes event funding contracts for those funded and prepares reports.
What is your favourite hidden gem in the region?
The variety of walks/hikes around the region. Whether it’s a challenge like the climb to the Hakarimata summit, or the easy trek to the impressive Bridal Veil Falls, or the tramp up Mount Kakepuku for amazing views, there are plenty of options to explore.
If you could do one job for a week – what would it be?
A rock star on tour! That is of course if I had the musical talent to go with it. It would be an exhilarating experience to perform in front of crowds who were there to enjoy your music and sing along!
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy making memories and exploring new places. I love planning the next holiday, weekend away, or day trip. I’ve also recently taken up running and training for my first half marathon which has allowed me to explore the city and river trails by foot.