A woman’s touch: New Zealand's first female only run holiday park

September 2022

An empowering group of women are transforming the typically male dominated tourism industry in New Zealand, by being the first and only holiday park run by an all-female team.

Park manager of Tasman Holiday Park – Te Anau, Dayna Breading-Hesse, believes representation matters and there is power in women seeing themselves reflected in diverse job roles.

“Being the first female only ran park in New Zealand is extremely empowering, especially for the women we employ here and those wishing to get into the industry but are doubting themselves,” said Miss Breading-Hesse.

“Myself and my team here at Tasman Holiday Parks – Te Anau are proud to demonstrate to all the ladies out there that women can do just as good of a job as men, even in traditionally male dominated roles.

“There has always been a stereotype that maintenance and groundskeeping in the tourism sector is a man’s job, but here at Tasman Holiday Park – Te Anau, we are proving them wrong.”

Breaking stereotypes and paving the way for a new generation of women entering the tourism industry is a sentiment backed by Miss Breading-Hesse, who says her powerful team of women take a considered approach to the cleanliness and maintenance of the park.

“As a team of women, we have a keen eye for detail and over the years we have had guests mention it is noticeable we have a female only team, in a good way of course,” said Miss Breading-Hesse.

“One guest in particular complimented our attention to detail and the effort that was taken to ensure the cleanliness of their room and communal facilities, attributing it to what they called ‘a woman’s touch’.”

The women of Tasman Holiday Parks – Te Anau have extended their ‘woman’s touch’ by giving back to the community, recently having donated a $300 voucher to be auctioned at a Westpac charity night and also gifting a getaway package to a mother whose child attends a Māori day-care.

“When the opportunity arose to help raise funds for the Westpac rescue helicopter, myself and my team knew that we had to give back to the community – especially in a post-COVID environment when everyone is trying to get back on their feet,” said Miss Breading-Hesse.

“I have since been informed that our voucher was auctioned for over $600 and Tasman Holiday Parks – Te Anau is pleased to be able to extend our support to such an important asset within our community.

“Being women ourselves, we acknowledged that females in particular were bearing the brunt of the pandemic with added pressures of home-schooling and entertaining the kid’s during months of lockdowns.

“So, we donated a getaway package to a mother in need, so she could enjoy a much-deserved relaxing trip away at our park.”

As tourists make their way back into New Zealand, the women of Tasman Holiday Parks – Te Anau are making a conscious effort to preserve and pay respects to the surrounding wildlife and cultural heritage.

Recently being awarded a silver star rating by sustainability programme Qualmark, the women of Tasman Holiday Parks – Te Anau are committed to protecting the natural environment, ensuring products throughout the park are biodegradable and cruelty free.

The work Miss Breading Hesse and her empowering all-female team are doing to transform the New Zealand tourism sector have been met with praise from the CEO of Tasman Holiday Parks, Nikki Milne.

“I am pleased to see a strong group of women leading the way for the New Zealand Tourism sector,” said Ms Milne.

Tasman Holiday Park – Te Anau is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers and sits at the gateway of Milford Sound and steps away from Lake Te Anau, the supermarkets, restaurants, and a cinema in town.

Guests can soak in the serenity and relax in the private wooden barrel hot tubs overlooking the lake which are also now open to the local community via bookings.

In 2019 Tasman Holiday Park – Te Anau welcomed over 47,000 visitors, maintaining a post covid annual visitor count of 10,489. The park offers 76 campsites alongside 41 pieces of roofed accommodation, which feature a 40-inch flat-screen television and bathrooms with rainfall showerheads and heated flooring for those cold mornings and nights