Marama is one of the retail managers here at Waimangu. She came back to the comforts of home after working in retail in Auckland and has been working at Waimangu for nearly two years.
What does a typical day look like?
A bit of everything! We handle ticketing, so helping people plan their day and organising big groups. In retail, we manage stock, deal with suppliers and make sales!
What’s the best part of your job?
It feels really good when we hit our targets for the day. Not only is it rewarding, it’s good for our manager David to trust us to do our job!
I like making connections with the drivers and tour leaders that bring groups through to Waimangu too. It’s like they’re part of the team as well.
What have you been working on recently?
One big thing is trying to get more local stock in the retail area. Lots of souvenirs come from China, but we want to sell things that are from here in Rotorua, or made in New Zealand. It can be difficult because they’re often small businesses, so it’s harder for them to produce the stock levels we need, but our customers are looking for locally made.
What’s your favourite feature of the valley?
For me, it’s down at the lakefront. We’ve got some really nice picnic areas down there with great views of Lake Rotomahana and Mount Tarawera.
What is something about Waimangu that surprises people?
Some people are surprised that they have to pay! When we explain that we’re Iwi owned and work on Department of Conservation land, and tell them about the work we do to look after the place and the things we do for visitors, it makes sense.
What do you do when you’re not a work?
I like to get away and go on adventures! I’m the oldest in my family so I like to take my younger siblings to the beach or places like that.
What’s your locals tip for where to go in Rotorua?
I really like Waikite Valley Thermal Pools. It’s not too far out of town (and real close to us here at Waimangu), and not so busy. The scenery out there is beautiful and it’s cheaper than some of the more popular places.