• Family at sunset

    An outreach project from Maverick Digital

    The Marketing Well

From the bright minds of Maverick Digital, New Zealand’s tourism marketing game-changers, we’re collaborating with some of the industry’s top names to upskill and enrich our collective marketing power – one project at a time!  

Drawing on internal and industry-wide expertise, we’re here to help solve your marketing dilemmas or curiosities, with a complimentary one-off advisory service up for grabs bi-monthly. Submit your project below and it could be the chosen mahi of the month! 

Check out our awesome panellists below!


Maverick Digital is on a mission – to lift the bar of our industry’s digital capability. Our whāinga (goal) is for operators, destinations and community groups alike to be digital-ready and perfectly placed to seize the exciting opportunities that the post-pandemic world provides. 

So we’re looking for exciting dilemmas and curiosities to add to our all-new Marketing Well! No issue or question is too big or too small – perhaps you’re looking to build a new website but don’t know where to start, not sure if your social media efforts are benchmarking well, need some best-practice paid media recommendations, or something else. If there’s something marketing-related on your mind, then you’re in the right place.  

Simply outline what you’d like help with using the form below, and once every two months, we’ll team up with a curated selection of experts to brainstorm a selected issue and deliver a 2-page document, full of solutions and ideas to tackle your problem head-on! We’re standing by to support businesses, boards, destination promotion agencies, volunteer groups and any fellow tourism colleagues – by helping us fill the well, you’re helping build our collective knowledge as we all strive to reach a high-value future. 

Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi – with your basket and with our basket, everyone will thrive. 

Apply to The Marketing Well

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    Let’s Talk

    Meet our panelists

    • Jo Heaton

      Head of Tourism, Wellington NZ

      Jo Heaton has spent over 20 years in the tourism industry, starting at Tourism New Zealand and currently Manager Tourism & Visitor Economy at WellingtonNZ. Trade marketing, product development and international distribution are areas of expertise and destination management is a new passion point. Managing an i-SITE, operating cruise days and surviving a few major events mean things have never been boring. Grateful for outstanding mentors across her tourism career, nothing makes Jo happier than seeing new products and tourism talent succeed.

    • Cristine Angus

      Chief Executive Officer – Angus & Associates

      Cristine has 30-plus years' experience in planning, marketing, strategy development and market research across a wide range of sectors, in client and agency roles in New Zealand, Europe and the Middle East. She has represented the tourism services sector on the Board of Tourism Industry Aotearoa and regularly serves as a judge for the New Zealand Tourism Awards. As a member of Victoria University of Wellington’s Tourism Management Advisory Group, Cristine also provides advice and input on the future of tourism education. With a distinguished career in senior marketing and management roles (including National Manager, Consumer Marketing at Telecom New Zealand; Managing Director of Heylen Research Centre, Wellington) Cristine worked as an independent consultant before establishing Angus & Associates in 2002.

    • Shayne Forrest

      General Manager, Tourism & Deputy CEO – Hobbiton Movie Set

      Shayne’s career started as a theatre company manager and actor in the South Island before moving to the Waikato and landing a role at Hobbiton in 2012. Since then, he has worked his way through different areas of the business; as the original food and beverage manager helping to set up The Green Dragon Inn, before moving over to manage the marketing and commercial side. One of Shayne’s highlights at Hobbiton Movie Set has been developing new products and overseeing the brand. Today Shayne is the General Manager of Tourism and Deputy Chief Executive of the iconic movie set. One of New Zealand’s most popular international tourist attraction has seen expediential growth in visitor numbers over the years, growing from 150,000 visitors in 2012 to approximately 680,000 in 2019. Over the past 2 years Hobbiton has continued to innovate the experience has used the opportunity to connect closer with the domestic market.

    • Ocean Mead

      Multimedia Producer – TourismNZ

      Ocean Mead is a marketing and PR professional with extensive experience in designing and implementing successful communications strategies within the tourism sector. Currently employed by Tourism New Zealand, her focus is on building brand preference and supporting conversion of New Zealand as a visitor destination through ‘earned media coverage’ globally. Taking a journalistic approach to content, Ocean seeks world-class stories that cut through the crazed media landscape to deliver bold headlines and maximum coverage. Beyond Tourism New Zealand, she freelances as a producer, photographer and drone pilot, putting her hand to the tools creatively. She also co-owns Auckland Sea Kayaks with her husband Nic Mead.

    • Heidi Gillingham

      Program Director – GoWithTourism

      Heidi Gillingham is one of New Zealand’s up-and-coming tourism leaders. Having been in the industry in one way or another since leaving high school, it’s no surprise that her path in life led her to the adventure capital of the world. Originally from the UK, Queenstown was her home for seven years before relocating to Auckland in 2022. Heidi progressed to the role of Programme Director for Go with Tourism after spending 18 months as a regional coordinator for the initiative, managing the Education Programme and other youth-oriented initiatives. Her previous work experience includes human resource management, and training and development with Taco Medic, AJ Hackett Bungy and Queenstown Resort College. In 2019, she won the HR New Zealand Emerging Practitioner of the Year Award. Heidi’s motto is “work hard, play hard”. While she is a strong believer that good results come directly from hard work, she is equally adamant that success is found when one can switch off at the end of the day and enjoy life outside of the ‘office’.

    • Justin Smith

      Business Development Manager – Campermate/Triptech.

      Justin has been involved in Tourism for 20+ years with a broad range of skills from on-the-job learning. An international travel consultant and branch manager, National Sales and BDM for a travel tech start up, National Sales manager for a Property management system and recently Business Development manager for Australasia's number one travel app, Campermate/Triptech. Having had the opportunity to visit operators in person has taught him a lot about the challenges small business owners face and the choice’s they have available to them in marketing. It's a real challenge for small business owners to get time to understand and measure the multitude of marketing options so I saw the need for practical advice and practical solutions.

    • Lou Baddiley

      Business Development Manager, International Markets – Destination Rotorua

      Lou Baddiley, International Manager, at RotoruaNZ describes her career in tourism as a happy un-accident. With two generations on both sides being in the Air Force, Lou says, in hindsight, working in travel was always going to happen. From cleaning tents in 35-degree heat in Europe, to losing 60 new recruits in Calais, France, to 15+ years in HR (side note, ask her over a wine about the employee that got stuck in a manhole), Lou’s as had an eclectic career. During her time at Whakarewarewa, The Living Maori Village, Lou lead a business rebrand, implemented a new website as well as a reservation system and a strategic approach to digital marketing saw at 300% increase in direct bookings. In her current role, Lou is aiming to be a trade rock star and has become an expert at thinking on her feet and phoning friends for help. Lou’s biggest challenge in 2022 will be surviving 42 days on the road talking non-stop about Rotorua in UK, Europe, India and Southeast Asia. In her spare time, Lou is a micro influencer on The Beauty Foodie (she reckons it’s just a bit of fun, but 700 women a day dial into her insta stories about travel/food and beauty). Lou is also crazy about her two young dogs.

    • Anna Calver

      Manager, CCO & Economic Wellbeing – Wellington City Council

      Anna Calver is a creative leader, strategist, connector, storyteller and unofficial chief Wellington cheerleader. Previously to her current role as Economic Wellbeing Manager for the Wellington City Council, she headed up marketing for WellingtonNZ, helping build the capital’s creative brand through initiatives such as LookSee Wellington, which offered the world’s best job interview via a free trip to Wellington; WellTown, which turned Wellington into the world’s first destination VR game and Love Local, which helped deliver $101m in incremental spending in local businesses in the wake of Covid.

    • Tash McGill

      Director – The Transformationalist

      Finding a unique voice for your brand – and not just telling your stories – is key to standing out in a cluttered digital space. An experienced agency strategist, writer and author of The Transformationalist podcast, Tash has worked with well-known brands including Tourism New Zealand and is passionate about developing skills to enable extraordinary storytelling.

    • Gavin Oliver

      Managing Director – EcoZip Adventures

      Gavin is one of the co-founders of adventure and eco-tourism specialist, EcoZip Adventures. Established in 2012, EcoZip was designed to ‘get visitors off tour buses and into the bush’ and was built on the concept of commercial conservation, or the belief that profit doesn’t necessarily need to be the sole reason to be in business. A new, yet very proud, Kiwi, Gavin arrived in NZ with his young family in 2008 and launched his first business, Milestone Tours. Prior to this, Gavin spent more than 20-years in the commercial world, ultimately as a director and partner in one of London’s largest corporate travel specialists.

    • Paul Yandall

      Publisher – Tourism Ticker

      Paul Yandall is a journalist and publisher of the industry trade daily, Tourism Ticker. His career spans The NZ Herald and TVNZ news and current affairs, as well as specialist business titles in the UK covering real estate, debt, and investment. He is based in one of the country's top all year destinations, Wānaka.

    • Debbie Guptill

      General Manager – Velocity Valley

      Debbie’s passion and dedication to tourism has spanned 25 years across various roles. From frontline customer service positions, to, sales and marketing roles with adventure tourism businesses, Māori organisations, and RTO land. She is currently the General Manager of Velocity Valley, Chair of Rotorua Tourism Investment Partnership (RTIP) and Treasurer for the Backpacker Youth & Adventure Tourism Association (BYATA) of New Zealand.


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