A recent Shop Local campaign launched in Orewa is a project that Brie Edwards-Adams is 100 percent behind – perhaps not surprisingly, as Brie manages a local business and was recently elected chair of the business association Destination Orewa Beach.
Aged 27, she brings plenty of energy and enthusiasm to the role of chair, as well as a love of Orewa, which she calls “the quintessential Kiwi town”.
Since gaining a BCom at Auckland University, Brie has been travelling, including running hotel-like super yachts for four years.
She returned to manage Beachcomber, her family’s business, in 2014 and has been on the Destination Orewa Beach board for a year; she was elected chair last month. Brie says she has been outspoken at Destination Orewa board meetings about the need for Orewa to carve out its own identity.
“Coming back from overseas I saw its charm, yet it’s so close to Auckland,” she says. “As the area grows it’s a balance so that you hold onto that charm while developing into a tourist destination.”
She says one of the biggest changes needed is “to create a community within the locally based businesses and inject a bit of energy”.
“It’s about taking pride in your business, and in where you live and seeing how valuable this area is and its huge potential,” she says.
Increasing business networking will be a focus during her time as chair.
“I hope to create opportunities for businesses to connect with me and the board. It’s easy to get focused on your own line of work but it can be insightful to hear what’s going on for everyone else.”
With tourism a main source of income for Orewa, particularly in summer, Brie hopes to increase awareness of events held locally. She says even in the last year Beachcomber has had a lot more international tourists through its doors. Location is the number one reason they come.