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Council’s holiday park is ‘struggling’

Masterton’s council-owned Mawley Holiday Park is “struggling to meet financial targets”, with occupancy bookings sitting at only 50 per cent last month.

A recent report to Masterton District Council [MDC] said feedback suggests that Mawley Holiday Park “doesn’t offer enough of what consumers are after”, such as cabins with ensuites.

MDC infrastructure and assets general manager Maseina Koneferenisi said the council has done a Section 17a review of the contract to evaluate options to lift the profile of the park.

Under the Local Government Act, councils must review the cost-effectiveness of current arrangements for the delivery of services to meet the needs of communities within the district.

A review must be undertaken within two years before the expiry of a contract or at “such other times as the local authority considers desirable”.

Koneferenisi said the outcome of the review was to roll the current Mawley Holiday Park contract over until next year to align with the council’s recreation centre contract.

At that stage there will be an opportunity to “go back out to market”, she said.

“But ultimately we will need to consider what support we provide in terms of how can we help the existing contractor with marketing and get beneath it a bit more to understand what is happening.”

Belgravia Leisure was awarded the Mawley Holiday Park contract in 2018 and has held the council’s recreation centre contract since 2017.

The holiday park declined to comment, but a council spokesperson responded on its behalf.

“Council staff actively work in partnership with their contractors, and work is underway to identify the factors influencing occupancy rates at Mawley Park.

“This review process will include identifying opportunities with the contractor to develop responses to the challenges being faced.”– NZLDR
Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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