Wayfare Group to shed staff from three operations

The TSS Earnslaw cruise, pictured in front of Walter Peak High Country Farm, is one of Real...
The TSS Earnslaw cruise, pictured in front of Walter Peak High Country Farm, is one of Real Journeys’ key attractions. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Queenstown tourism giant Wayfare Group, which operates TSS Earnslaw, is the latest tourist operator to announce significant redundancies.

Wayfare is making cuts to Real Journeys, Go Orange and the International Antarctic Centre.

Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone have been spared, acting chief executive Ian Jackson said in a media release yesterday.

He declined an interview and the company would not reveal how many people faced the axe.

Ministry of Social Development figures show it employs about 500 individuals.

A Covid-19 wage subsidy employer search shows Wayfare Ltd employs 76 people, who have been paid out $534,249.60.

But its biggest operation, Real Journeys, includes Earnslaw, employs 274 and has claimed $1,917,621.60.

Go Orange stands at 66, at $461,124, while Cardrona Alpine Resort has 76, at $522,931.20.

In recent weeks, other operators, including Ngai Tahu and Milbrook resort, have announced redundancies in response to Covid-19 and it is estimated up to 10,000 jobs could go in the resort.

Mr Jackson confirmed it had begun consulting its teams over proposed restructuring.

"We have to be pragmatic and realign our tourism businesses to match a very different commercial environment.

"Unfortunately, this is the reality we face. We must focus on an operating model that is sustainable and gives us more flexibility."

He said some staff would be redeployed to work at Cardrona and Treble Cone.

"I’m hopeful we can retain some of our people through this process ready for next summer.We also have a small number of fixed-term redeployment opportunities into our engineering division to support our maintenance schedule."

He expected to make decisions next month.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult, who is chairman of Wayfare Group, declined to comment.


So Boult has some major conflicts of interest going on. Should he even be mayor???

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