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Mountain Operations Manager Announced for Mt Hutt

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Engineering consultant James McKenzie has been appointed Mountain Operations Manager for Mt Hutt.

Mt Hutt Ski Area Manager David Wilson said he was delighted to announce the appointment of Mr McKenzie who brings with him a wealth of project management and customer service experience, and a deep love of the mountains.“James has 13 years experience in engineering and project management services. He has excellent skills in problem solving, budget and resource planning and target setting – skills valuable to the further development of Mt Hutt. He also loves the mountains and is a keen skier and snowboarder,” said Mr Wilson.

Prior to setting up an engineering consulting business in NZ, Mr McKenzie was based in the UK and worked as the Engineering Systems Manager for Jaguar and Land Rover. In that role he managed a department of 15 engineers and provided an issues management service for up to 2000 engineers, designers and analysts.

Mr McKenzie began his engineering career after graduating with an MA and BA in Electrical and Information Systems Technology and Engineering respectively from Cambridge University in the UK in 1993.

A keen rock climber and mountaineer, Mr McKenzie has travelled extensively around the world in pursuit of his sport, climbing ‘The Nose’ on El Capitan (US) and Mt Tasman (NZ) amongst other feats. Mr McKenzie is also an experienced skier and snowboarder and has ventured into ski mountaineering, completing the Haute Route between France and Switzerland.

Mr McKenzie said that the Operations Manager role at Mt Hutt was his “dream job”.

“Mt Hutt is a premier New Zealand ski area and this position will allow me to combine love of the mountains with my engineering, project management and customer service skills.

“My focus is to work with the Mt Hutt team to build further on an already excellent reputation. Mt Hutt has a genuine Kiwi feel, a great team in place and still a huge amount of potential to develop the recreational and customer experience for visitors and locals alike.”

As a child, Mr McKenzie, 36, spent time in Twizel in New Zealand’s Mackenzie Country before his family returned to the UK in 1985. He has since yearned to return to the South Island, and moved here with his wife and two sons last September.

Mr McKenzie takes up the role on 25 June 2007.


The cold snap over the long weekend has been just what Canterbury ski operators have been waiting for.

Around 25cm of snow fell on Mt Hutt ski slopes on Saturday night, and the cooler temperatures were perfect for the snow making machines.

Ski field area manager Dave Wilson says they are well on track to opening this coming weekend. He is pinning his hopes on a cold snap later in the week as another 30-40 cm is needed to open on Friday.