As I See It – Nathan Cook

Nathan Cook is 29 years old and the general manager of Auckland’s Quadrant Hotel. He recently won New Zealand Hotel Manager of the Year 2008 at the ‘hotel Oscars’, the HM Awards in Sydney. He was previously marketing projects manager for Tourism New Zealand in Japan for four years and part of the opening team at the Hilton Auckland.

How would you describe the New Zealand identity?
For years I’ve had this theory that we had our very own home-made L&P syndrome, typically fabulous and famous in our own backyard. You know the feeling – stepping back into the 1980s when you come home from overseas. Sure, it rapidly fades as we regain appreciation for what makes us uniquely New Zealand, but our Antipodean location does drive our lust for information. So we’re obsessed with being creative and innovative, even if it means adapting something to our own crisp palate.

What will be our next major challenge?
It has to be sustainability. And there are two types, aren’t there?
Bottom-line results feel the pressure during recession and we’re tested even more by our relatively small population. But sustainability stems from creating loyalty and delivering on promise. ‘Green’ sustainability requires some careful planning because our tourism industry needs to deliver on our ‘100% Pure’ statement.

What do we need to do to prepare ourselves for this?
Our people will always determine the longevity and sustainability of our businesses, and we’re only as good as the teams we lead. Moving players around the field is an inevitable part of determining the greater strengths of team. Sure, there is the usual half-time commentary, but no one can argue the need for change, as the flow-on effect is better customer satisfaction, strong loyalty to all things L&P, and confident, sustainable future.

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