Meet the members of Tourism Waitaki and discover how they contribute to doing wonderful work.
Originally from Dunedin, Philippa began working at the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony in 2006, after completing a Master’s in Marine Science at Otago University. She developed a research programme at the Colony in 2009 and used both long-term monitoring data and new foraging research, to complete her PhD, also in Marine Science at Otago. Since her PhD work, Philippa has driven the science carried out at the Colony and is now one of New Zealand’s leading little penguin scientists. Other projects she has initiated have been the development of the rehabilitation facility, the underpass on Waterfront Road, the Bushy Beach Hoiho advocacy programme, and has worked to improve protection for little penguins in Oamaru generally.
She actively advocates for wildlife in the region, being a member of the Otago Conservation Board, the Waitaki District Council’s Harbour Area Committee, the IUCN’s Penguin Specialist Group, the National Oiled Wildlife Response Team and previously the South East Marine Protection Forum, she also organises the biennial Oamaru Penguin Symposium. Outside of work Philippa like to get out and spend time outdoors amongst nature and wildlife.
Krissy comes straight from an operator background and a wealth of RTO experience. She previously spent more than 20 years working in tourism industry in NZ, Japan, UK, USA & Australia. Krissy has been on the board of the North Canterbury Wine Growers, Kaikōura Information & Tourism Inc and currently is on the Advisory board for MoanaMark.
Krissy strongly believes tourism is an enabler for regional growth and wellbeing. If Krissy isn’t working she is spending time with her family (including German Sheppard ‘Charlie’) and on the netball courts as a coach for Villa Maria College & Christchurch U16 rep teams.
Dario is a passionate designer with a global vision. Originally from Argentina, he has been in New Zealand for the past 4 years, where he contributes his creativity and experience to the Turismo Waitaki team.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic and Advertising Design and recently a specialization in User Experience (UX/UI) Design, and over 10 years of experience in the tourism and cultural sector, Dario has worked on the creation and execution of innovative projects that have connected people with unique places and experiences. His ability to combine user-centered design with research and technology makes him a valuable resource for turning ideas into effective solutions.
When he’s not immersed in the world of design, Dario enjoys exploring the natural landscapes of New Zealand and participating in local cultural events. His love for diversity and his desire to connect people through design make him an exceptional member.
Meet our Trade and Marketing Specialist, Ace Liu. With a passion for innovation and a track record of delivering exceptional results, Ace brings a wealth of experience to our team. He immigrated to New Zealand from China and has now lived in New Zealand for six years. With a postgraduate diploma in Business specializing in Marketing from Unitec Institute of Technology, Ace has honed their skills in both the art and science of marketing. He steers the digital ship at Tourism Waitaki Limited, where he generated over 10 million views on social media channels and played a pivotal role in boosting destination visibility.
He has insights and experience on how to attract tourists, especially from China. Outside of work, he enjoys cooking and playing board games, and lately, he has been exploring topics such as sustainable lifestyles and the use of green materials.