The Islander group cuts to 53 core staff

Saturday 4 April 2020 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Economy


The Islander group cuts to 53 core staff
Jane Tiaore is one of the Natura Properties Limited staff helping the company maintain the properties in exchange for free accommodation, meals and beverages. 20040335

One of the leading tourism businesses in the country is running special deals on meals to clear their stock.

The Islander Hotel, part of Natura Properties Limited, is getting rid of their perishable food items at cheap rates.

These include $10 dine-in or takeaway meals and other specials.

Managing director Rohan Ellis said they were holding a lot of stock despite managing to return some, including a large amount of alcohol to their supplier CITC. “There are perishable foods that we’ve got to get rid of, hence we are selling it just to get cost plus – because we don’t want to feed the pigs unless we have to," Ellis said.

* Quarantine Quiz: Coffee, chocolate and wine
* Leaders stand up when need is the greatest
* This helmet saved a boy’s life last month

“At least we can get our money back so we are offering a range of $10 meals for people who can dine in house or have takeaways.

“Our frozen goods can hold so that’s not a problem. We are very, very thankful to the public for coming through and ordering meals.”

Natura also owns and manages 21+ holiday homes and more than six restaurants and bars, and other smaller projects in the Cook Islands had 100 staff on their payroll in December last year.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak and the low tourism season, they had to reduce the staff to 80 in January, then to 65 in February. They now have 53 core staff on their payroll.

Ellis said he wants to maintain the 53 staff comprising Cook Islanders, Fijians and Filipinos.

All his staff were on leave without pay, he said, and would return to work on minimum wage subsidy once it was approved – hopefully by Monday.

Ellis said he had also offered his staff work on maintaining the properties in exchange for free accommodation, meals and beverages.

“I thank the core team of 53 who are staying on and happy to work on minimum subsidy until such time the tourism industry rebounds.”