The future of the Tahuna Holiday Park is in good hands after the Nelson City Council stepped in to assist in its governance, according to a camp board member.
Last week, the Nelson Weekly revealed that the council has stepped in to help the camp after its cafe was found to have lost $250,000 in the last two years.
It also was more than $900,000 in debt, largely on the back of a $1.3 million loan that the council granted the Tahuna Camp Incorporated Society several years ago.
The council appointed a business adviser to the society to ensure “the ongoing viability and sustainability of the camp”, as well as ensuring it complies with its governance obligations.
The council, which owns the land, also only just renewed the society’s lease for a year – a week out from the lease expiring. However, society board member Eric Davy says everything is under control.
“We are not in debt. The reason for the loan was to upgrade some of the infrastructure and camp facilities that were run down and needed replacing.”
“It’s a weird situation where we borrow from the council to upgrade the infrastructure of the camp, which they own.”
He says that communication with the council had been “difficult” due to staff changes there, but now everything was on track.
Eric says that the café, which was haemorrhaging money, has been shut down and they are looking for new tenants to run it, along with the adjacent conference centre.
“The camp board is very disappointed that the cafe wasn’t showing a return that we hoped for.”
But he also says that the society has more than $400,000 in the bank.
Eric says that both the camp board and the council agreed that a business adviser was needed to ensure the camp worked towards its strategic plan that was approved three years ago.
The camp proposed turning it into more a resort-style destination over the course of 20 years. “Rather than a place to erect a tent,” says Eric.
He says that the future of the camp is in good hands.
“Everything that was causing some of the grief has been rectified.”