Eastwoodhill Arboretum

By working through the Business Case process, the Eastwoodhill Arboretum Trust Board was able to identify a range of options for development of the Arboretum and to raise its profile, before committing to the expensive option of a building upgrade.

Eastwoodhill Arboretum, located near Gisborne, is the National Arboretum of New Zealand and encompasses over 131 hectares planted in exotic and native trees, shrubs and climber plantings. The collection was planted by Douglas Cook and is regarded as the largest and most comprehensive collection of Northern Hemisphere trees south of the equator.

The Eastwoodhill Trust Board recognised the need for further development at Eastwoodhill and engaged Giblin Group to undertake a Business Case on the proposal to redevelop and expand the visitor centre to create a better layout for visitor flow and create more indoor space for education and discovery. The visitor centre also needed to complement the other visitor offerings of the Arboretum including walks and trails. The overall objective of the proposed redevelopment was to enhance the visitor ‘experience’ at the Eastwoodhill Arboretum in order to attract increased numbers of visitors.

As part of the Business Case development, workshops were held with stakeholders to obtain their input to the proposal. It became clear that stakeholders did not support any significant changes to the visitor centre building as they considered this would not have the desired objective of attracting more visitors.

However, a number of other development options were proposed including place-based education programmes involving full-day or overnight Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom (LEOTC) programmes. Additionally, accommodation could be provided on site for campervans and motorhomes to increase traffic (and therefore visitors) through the Arboretum. ‘Glamping’ was also suggested as an accommodation option. A pop-up café in a container, partnerships with Adventure Tairawhiti and Activate Tairawhiti for marketing and promotion, and development of mountain bike trails through the park were other suggestions, which the Trust Board will investigate.

By working through the Business Case process, the Eastwoodhill Arboretum Trust Board was able to identify a range of options for development of the Arboretum and to raise its profile, before committing to the expensive option of a building upgrade.

Giblin Group staff are trained in the Treasury Better Business Case process, which is currently considered best practice for determining the viability of a project. Making sure the need for change is correctly identified, stakeholders are involved early in the project and options are clearly defined are key to a successful project proposal and can save a lot of money and time for an organisation considering a capital project.

“Jenni did a fantastic job in helping us to secure critical partnerships and funding support for our internationally significant Len Lye Centre project – what’s more we really enjoyed working with her.”

Barbara McKerrow - Former CEO New Plymouth District Council Chief Executive

“Giblin Group’s work on the Better Business Case process contributed to the development of a compelling piece of work. This project has created a considerable step change framework for the future of our City.”

Gary Poole - Tauranga City Council Chief Executive

“Giblin Group’s knowledge of government practices and procedures on a national and local level is invaluable, and I often find that they are well connected with staff and officials on all levels of Government. Giblin Group scopes their assignments well, provides accurate cost estimates for their services, delivers within the agreed timeframes and always deliver excellent quality work – no project manager can really ask for more!”

Kritzo Venter, Senior Stormwater Engineer, Wanganui District Council

“The work that the Giblin Group completed, in collaboration with our staff, was instrumental in the success the project has had in securing significant funding to this key City initiative. In particular we have found the experience of the Giblin Group to been invaluable in seeking funding from a variety of sources in an increasingly challenging environment.”

Lance Vervoort, General Manager – Community, Hamilton City Council