First impressions matter - and it’s an opportunity that New Zealand is currently missing.
While I don't always see eye to eye with Mike Hosking, I can relate to some comments he recently made about Auckland Airport. He expressed frustration around the disjointed customer service, the continual construction programme and he also referenced the dissatisfaction of the airlines who believe the airport fees are disproportionate to the service they receive.
The airport came out swinging, and not only defended their position, but reaffirmed their methods.
They indicated that the service they provide to the airlines and public is considered industry standard and that the current and planned development work is to align Auckland with other major international airports. I’d consider myself a fairly low-maintenance traveller and can sympathise with the airport around construction expectations and baggage delays, I do feel these are inevitable and Mikes points around these didn’t quite resonate. I also believe that the airport is currently more welcoming than that of LAX or Heathrow - but that’s not difficult!
Whilst it is great that the airport is getting a much needed shot in the arm, I unpicked their attitude towards the upgrades, and pose the following question:
Are we happy simply replicating what others are doing, to bring our ‘doorway’ in line with other international airports? Or do we feel we can separate ourselves and do something completely different?
Whilst our visitors are currently greeted by a beautiful Waharoa, this is then followed by the 'cut and paste' (and increasingly growing) duty-free section. Walls of booze and cigarettes. I understand that this is an important component towards the airports' revenue, but surely we can better critique how it is integrated.
My challenge to Auckland Airport is to create something that is intrinsically kiwi, especially if they are spending millions to lift the arrival experience.
I feel us kiwis tend to go against the grain and push the boundaries (cycling on a boat?!), and the arrival experience into a country should feel like an extension of the people, the land and the country itself - rather than just a pleasant experience. Most people that come to New Zealand have travelled a fair distance, and there is the opportunity to leave a lasting impression and to create something striking at our front door rather than blend in with the rest of the world.
The New Zealand Property Council Awards are on Friday night this week at Spark arena. RCG have been proud sponsors of the retail category for a number of years, and this year is no exception!
We also have 2 projects featured in the awards this year: The St Marys College – Mother Bernard Towers Science Centre, is featured in the “GIB - Education Category”, and Maori Television is featured in the “RCP – Commercial Workspace Category”. We look forward to celebrating with our clients and colleagues, and congratulate all other entrants!
Local Media highlights from the past week...
KiwiSaver withdrawals for first homes have increased five-fold over the past six years, ANZ Bank figures show.
ANZ wealth managing director Craig Mulholland said almost 10,000 members made a first home withdrawal from their KiwiSaver accounts in the last financial year. This was up from 2164 withdrawals in 2012.
The property market has been booming but there have been ups and downs for some of the main commercial property agencies, according to their latest financial statements.
Three of the major commercial property agencies, Colliers International, CBRE and JLL, are required to publish their annual accounts because they have overseas owners.
A real estate company is predicting Auckland's housing crisis is set to deepen as some developers choose to sit on land because they cannot turn a profit.
Colliers International says lower house prices and steeper building costs has put the brakes on development in the city.
The housing sector is backing a government decision to establish a new standalone housing ministry to fix the housing crisis.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development will incorporate units currently spread across the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; Ministry of Social Development; and Treasury, into a one-stop policy shop on affordable housing, homelessness and large-scale housing developments.