Introducing the faces behind

May 4, 2015

Quite often we spend plenty of telephone time and emails discussing your holidays but yet never get to physically meet. We live vicariously through our clients and their experiences and get a great kick out of hearing from you before, during and after you’ve travelled, to what we believe is as close to paradise as you can get – friendly people, tranquility and some of the best scenery that one could experience in one place.

We love our job of being able to create memories for you, and thought that maybe it’s time that we put a face to our names and voices and gave up a little about ourselves.

We’re a shy bunch, but here we go. Here are questions we’ve put together and our answers to provide a little more insight to ourselves.

Introducing David Smith

“Travel and event organizing have always been in my blood. From an early age, an opportunity to become involved in organizing or helping at any local event was eagerly seized upon. My first recollection of helping at an event was at an A&P Show, looking after an oil fired heater and selling hot water to picnickers attending the event at thrupence and sixpence a time, depending on the size of the container.

Later in life the opportunity to manage a conference and event centre catering for a wide range of events form Weddings, to Home Shows, with 800 seated conference dinners included for good measure only reinforced my desire to create lasting memories for people. With Kiwi Travel New Zealand, this job is just another avenue and logical step in life where I can explore this desire.”

My Role – Managing Director (& servant to two supportive female staff)

1. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Without fail, the opportunity to create lasting New Zealand holiday memories for an international visitor is the greatest driver anyone can have to arise each morning to another challenging day.

2. Where is your favourite New Zealand destination and why?

I don’t have one favourite destination in New Zealand – just the country as a whole. No matter where in New Zealand you travel, one cannot help and wonder at the natural beauty that the country offers. The saying that you can view the ‘seven wonders of the world in one country’ is certainly one that remains true in New Zealand.

3. What is the one activity that you would recommend for any one travelling to New Zealand?

If I had to pick one, it would definitely be to experience some of the Maori culture that is available. Rotorua as a destination is the place for this and be sure to experience a culture show that includes a hangi or feast cooked in the traditional way.

4. What does the future hold for you?

The near future is looking busy! We currently have plenty of potential visitors that we are putting some packages together for – which is always exciting. But what is most exciting is that we are giving our website a major overhaul. We’re making New Zealand sell itself, utilizing some of the amazing imagery and scenery of our shore, and providing a better structure to the content we have, in order to increase the user experience. We’ve put together a brief of stunning, simple and straight to the point – and we think we’ve nailed it. 

5. Who and where would you take them if money and time was no option?

I would invite some friends from offshore and it would be a 35 day extended self-drive of all of New Zealand, including Stewart Island. It would be all about taking in all the highlights but also visiting some out of the way places which aren’t frequented by a lot of visitors. It would be a trip of a lifetime with memories galore!

Introducing Teina Drake

I started working for Kiwi Travelnz many moons ago, when faxing was still a major communication tool.  My how things have changed since then! Based in a small office which over the years the team has outgrown, we moved to a large office on the outskirts of New Plymouth about six years ago.  Semi-rural, with a wonderful view of Mt Taranaki - lucky I am!

As a Senior Consultant and the Reservations Manager, I’m a specialist in preparing itineraries and making all necessary reservation arrangements.  Having an extensive knowledge of our country means I can ensure people get to see the very best, and sometimes “off the beaten track” locations if time allows. 

My Role – Reservations Manager

1. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

I look forward to getting into work and finding a lot of emails waiting for me.  It’s a dull day if there are not many to answer!

2. Where is your favourite New Zealand destination and why?

Christchurch used to be my favourite city but I have too many memories of how it was (prior to the 7.1 magnitude Earthquake of 4th September 2010 which killed 185 people and caused widespread damage to Christchurch and the surrounding region).  Visiting Christchurch now, I get very disorientated because you can no longer see the CBD in the skyline to get bearings from. 

So I’m tossing up between either Wellington or Abel Tasman National Park as my favourite area to send people to now – a very close tie.  Wellington is a vibrant city with theatres, shopping, restaurants, sports and a waterfront walkway, all based around the beautiful harbour.  Abel Tasman, in contrast, is serene, relaxing and totally breathtaking with its golden beaches and calm blue sea.

3. What is the one activity that you would recommend for any one travelling to New Zealand?

Many people have commented that a helicopter flight with a landing on the snow at Mt Cook or the Glaciers is the highlight of their holiday, so I always include this in an itinerary if possible.

4. What does the future hold for you?

I love New Zealand, so likely to be more travelling around it. With that in mind, I am passionate about my country so love sharing it with others, and in time hearing that my travellers love NZ as much as I do.  I feel very blessed to have this job with Kiwi Travelnz, so the future potentially holds many more years working here!

5. Who and where would you take them if money and time was no option? 

I would love to take one or two disadvantaged children on holiday each year – different children each time of course.  I would like to cater for those children whose parents would never be able to give them a holiday, it just seems an injustice that children couldn’t experience what New Zealand has to offer.  The Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel would be a priority, then Rotorua & Queenstown for some fun activities.  Creating lifetime memories for them to treasure would be such a buzz.


We’re no longer strangers! We look forward to discussing and organizing your trip to New Zealand and if we can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’d love to talk. We’re dedicated to providing you personalized advice and service, and rest assured that you’re in safe hands when you get to New Zealand.

“We pride ourselves on our quick responses to queries and booking requests and are always prepared to go that extra mile to have a satisfied customer, one who takes back many happy memories of their holiday in New Zealand.”







Filed under Kiwi Travelnz \ News

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