Meet Woodlands new board member Brett Morris. He is keen on gardening, classic cars and fishing and is of the opinion the historic homestead could be a leading tourist destination. Annette Taylor finds out more.
N8N: What is your background – where are you from, how long have you been in the Waikato?
Brett: I was born and raised in Te Awamutu, and went to boarding school in Auckland. Attended Waikato University, gained a Bachelor of Management Studies (Hons), majoring in Marketing and Human Resource Management. I then moved back to Auckland, then the UK, then back to Auckland. Seven years ago I moved back to Tamahere with my wife and two daughters, aged 10 and five.
N8N: What skills you bring to the board?
Brett: Marketing, advertising, including digital marketing, tourism and events.
N8N: What other interests/hobbies do you have that might be useful?
Brett: Gardening, including planting out my bare section with thousands of natives seedlings. Classic cars and fishing (probably less relevant 😊)
N8N: What is your connection to Woodlands?
Brett: My earliest memory is only from about five years ago. Lunching at Profs with my extended family and playing games with the kids on the Oval.
N8N: What do you like about it?
Brett: What it offers to the community – a place they can enjoy, come together and experience one-off unique experiences.
N8N: What made you want to be involved, and to join the board?
Brett: The potential. After visiting for a corporate event – and thinking of all the opportunities there are to utilise the grounds and homestead.
N8N: How do you see Woodlands and its place in the local community – why is it special?
Brett: The history of the Homestead – it has been in the hearts of the community for so many generations. Also the garden and grounds showcase our stunning natural Waikato environment at its best.
N8N: How can it become more special? Do you see other opportunities or events that would be a good fit?
Brett: Definitely. As a board we are working on a couple of headline events for next year, which are super exciting! I can’t say too much more just yet but watch this space.
N8N: What ideas would you like to develop, in the short term?
Brett: Repositioning perceptions that Woodlands is only a wedding venue. There is so much on offer, from corporate events, a fantastic Café in Profs, planned garden tours, events, tie-the-knot packages, Homestead theming and more.
N8N: What are the limiting factors or problems to overcome?
Brett: Parking and funding but with support from the local community, council and a strong strategic direction we have a clear path to overcome these.
N8N: On a national scale, what is the potential for Woodlands?
Brett: Like the Hamilton Gardens and Hobbiton, Woodlands has the potential to be one of the Waikato’s leading tourism destinations and as a Board we are working towards making it that.
- Phone Woodlands on 824 3687. The homestead is at 42 Whitikahu Rd, Gordonton, open from 10am to 3pm every day, may be closed weekend afternoons due to weddings. $2 entry inside the house.