After four years at the helm of the Queenstown Trails
Trust, chief executive Kaye Parker has decided to step back.
The trust's marketing director Mandy Kennedy has been
appointed as her successor, while Mrs Parker will continue to
work part-time on special projects for the trust.
Mrs Parker was appointed to the role in 2009 and was one of
the driving forces behind the Queenstown Trail, a network of
more than 110km of walking and cycling tracks throughout the
The project was part of Prime Minister John Key's $50 million
national cycleway initiative and required about $3 million
funding to be raised by the community.
The trail was officially opened 12 months ago.
Mrs Parker said October 18, 2012 - the day the ribbon was cut
by Mr Key - was undoubtedly one of the highlights for her.
The other was blitzing all predictions of potential trail
The business case put to the Government for the trail was
between 25,000 and 35,000 people within the first five years.
Within the first nine months 107,000 people have utilised
it, Mrs Parker said.
''They [the Government] thought we were dreaming. We did it -
the community did it.''
Mrs Parker said she was excited about the prospect of having
a part-time job - initially her work with the trust was to
have been ''three days a week''.
''That lasted about a week.
''Having Mandy on board and seeing her fabulous skills just
gave me every confidence that now is the right time for
somebody to lead us in a new direction and for me to do what
I really would like to do now, which is have a part-time
Mrs Kennedy, who has been with the trust for six months, said
she was ''delighted'' to have taken on the top job and said
the focus of the trust now needed to be on maintaining
existing tracks and ''further development''.
''There is always more opportunity to make it better ...
we've just got to look for it.
''For me, the opportunity to work with Kaye is outstanding -
if I can do half as good a job as she's done, I'll be pretty
Trust chairman Tony McQuilkin, who recently took over from
former chairman Terry Stevens, said it was largely because of
Mrs Parker the trail was opened on time and on budget.
''Kaye has made a significant impact and it is thanks to her
professionalism, drive and energy that the $5.4 million
Queenstown Trail was opened.
''We respect her decision to take a step back, but we are
delighted she will continue to work on a range of special
projects for the trust.''
Mr McQuilkin welcomed Mrs Kennedy's appointment, highlighting
her expertise in sales and marketing and business development
in both the hospitality and tourism industries.
''Mandy has excellent marketing and event skills and has
played an important role as the trust's marketing director.''