Rotorua District Council (RDC) has announced the appointment of Rotorua businessman Stewart Brown to the position of Rotorua Museum director.
RDC Economic & Regulatory Services group manager Mark Rawson said Mr Brown has had a successful career in tourism management and brings substantial local and international sales and marketing experience to his new role.
“Stewart has big shoes to fill following the exceptional 15 year contribution by current Museum director Greg McManus, who leaves at the end of this week to take up the CEO role for the Waitangi National Trust. But he has a real passion for Rotorua and a sound knowledge of our local community and business sectors, so we’re confident he’ll be able to hit the ground running when he joins us later this month.
“Stewart’s vast experience in the local and international tourism sector means we can focus on providing both a world class museum experience, including a repository for Te Arawa taonga (treasures), and an iconic Rotorua visitor attraction.
“At the same time we are aiming to progressively reduce the net cost of these services to ratepayers while retaining free entrance for our local residents.”
Mr Rawson said Mr Brown’s recent role as regional general manager for Ngai Tahu Tourism means he brings with him a range of skills, experience and achievements that will be integral to success in his new role.
“Stewart directed Rainbow Springs’ recent $12 million development, managed the Franz Joseph Glacier Hot Pools development and opening in 2009, led Hukafalls Jet to the 2008 Waikato Tourism Business of the Year award and helped Rainbow Springs become the Rotorua Business of the Year in 2006.
“We’re excited to have Stewart at the helm of our world class museum and we’re confident he can effectively lead the strategic development of this important facility, and build on its position as a leading Rotorua visitor attraction.”
Mr Rawson said it will be particularly important to maintain the balance between critically important museum and art gallery functions, and the unique opportunity the Rotorua Museum has to become a world class attraction which can be shared by the local community and our visitors.
He said a deputy director with strong technical museum skills complementing Mr Brown’s business and tourism experience was being recruited and an announcement on that position was expected shortly.