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This page outlines the vacancy and the key skills and responsibilities for the role.

Operations Manager, National Aquarium of New Zealand


Reference: 4797305

Located in Napier, the National Aquarium is a unique, exciting and dynamic facility focused on all things aquatic. Owned by the people of Napier and Napier City Council, the aquarium attracts 150,000 visitors each year and offers a wide range of experiences from diving displays and keeper talks, to getting up close and personal with little penguins. Its centrepiece exhibit is the stunning 1.5 million litre Oceanarium with a 50m-long viewing tunnel. It is home to a diverse collection of saltwater, freshwater and land animal exhibits from New Zealand and around the world.

We have exciting plans to expand and redefine the aquarium. Our vision is to create an iconic destination that all New Zealanders will be proud of, and that visitors will be inspired by. Redefining our National Aquarium gives us a unique opportunity to tell New Zealand's freshwater and marine story through themes of sustainable utilisation and conservation.

About the position

We are looking for a commercially focused, multi-skilled Operations Manager to oversee and coordinate the National Aquarium's commercial operations.

Key to our success is the experience of our visitors. What sits behind that is a guest service that is second-to-none, a well-oiled and highly efficient back of house operation and facility maintenance and well trained and highly engaged staff while maximising revenue and minimising costs.

Essential elements of this position include leading the front of house team including reception, gift shop, café, events, venue hire, health and safety, maintenance and cleaning.

This includes admissions, cafe and retail operational planning so experience in retail and/or tourism/hospitality is highly desirable. You will need to be innovative in your approach to new ways of serving customers and growing visitor numbers.

The Operations Manager is also accountable for managing, coordinating and supervising facility maintenance including coordinating internal staff and external contractors, working in collaboration with the Curatorial team where any facilities may affect animal life support.

And for good measure, you will take on responsibility for security, waste collection, recycling, pest control, internal and external building maintenance, reviewing provider contracts regularly and making recommendations for efficiency and value improvements.

Not for the faint hearted, you will need to be highly organised and bring a collaborative style to ensure seamless coordination of many moving parts.

As part of the senior management team at the aquarium you will have plenty of scope to work with a passionate team to realise our vision of creating an iconic destination that all New Zealanders will be proud of, and that visitors will be inspired by.

About you

To be successful you will need to bring the following:

  • Hands-on management of a front of house operation in a high footfall venue
  • Proven track record of generating increased revenue (admissions, retail, catering, events)
  • Financial planning and budget management
  • Team Leadership
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and leading safe work practices
  • Ability to manage multiple disciplines in a fast paced environment
  • Ability to remain calm and maintain your sense of humour

This is a permanent full time position. The Aquarium operates 7 days a week so you will need to be available for to work some weekends.

We are an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability status although applicants must have existing rights to work in New Zealand.

Our preferred candidates will be required to undergo pre-employment screening which includes drug testing and, for some roles, health screening.

If you are ready for this opportunity, then we encourage you to apply now. We will be interviewing suitable candidates as applications are received and may close this advertisement when we have found the right person.