Woodlands bristling with potential – board member

Brett Morris photo
Brett Morris – ‘Woodlands has been in the hearts of the community for so many generations.’


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.
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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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