Blah Blah Marketing has been working with around 50 tourism businesses, plus Business Associations and Community organisations in the Bay of Islands and Northland for 14 years.
We are very passionate about Northland and the lifestyle that goes hand in hand with this region we are very keen to be involved in any ongoing projects that will increase awareness and encourage future opportunities for our region as well as businesses and organisations within it.
We are really proud of the relationships and contacts we have built up over the years, based on integrity and good working practices.
Anika and Steph are the directors, who are involved hands on in the company, along with an enthusiastic, skilled team supporting them.
Our stories are very similar – we have both worked around the world, and also travelled extensively to many corners of the globe. Both of us arrived in Paihia with the intention of working for a while and moving on, but we both loved the area so much that we stayed and definitely call it home now!! We both have young families and are very community focused and are both involved in a lot of volunteer projects in the Bay of Islands.
Meet the Team
Anika Whapshott, Director, Bsc Hons (Marketing)
Anika has 18 years experience in sales and marketing within the tourism industry. She has been based in the Bay of Islands for 18 years, previous to setting up Blah Blah Marketing, and after uni, with her passion for travel, Anika spent a year in Africa, rode a motorbike around Australia and hitchhiked to the Bay of Islands where she fell in love with outdoor lifestyle, the temperature and the people! She worked for 4 years with Fullers Bay of Islands her last position was International Marketing and Sales Manager for Awesome Adventures Bay of Islands and Awesome Adventures Fiji. Anika has been a director and partner of Blah Blah marketing and Events for 15 + years and loves the variety the Event Management and Marketing consultancy offers.
Steph Godsiff, Director, BA (Psych), Dip Mgmt
Steph grew up in Hawkes Bay and following high school she went to Massey University and graduated with a degree in Psychology and a diploma in Business Management. Following that she spent 12 years in NZ, London and Europe working for large Corporations in project management, project administration and training roles specialising in product development, IT projects and risk assessment. One of Steph’s passions is travel and she cycled the length of Central and South America, joined the masses travelling around Europe and took any opportunity to scuba dive she could! Moving out of the corporate world, Steph went to work as a dive instructor in the Caribbean for 2 years, and on a visit back to NZ she passed through Paihia – fell in love with Northland and started working at Paihia Dive. Steph moved back into the consultancy world 14 years ago when she joined Blah Blah Marketing as a director.
Taunaha Smith, Bachelor Social Science
Kō Ngawha te marae
Kō E Koro Kia Tutuki te wharenui
Kō Pouerua me Maungaturoto nga maunga
Kō Owhareiti me Omapere nga awa
Kō Ngātokimatawhaorua te waka
Kō Ngati Rangi te hapū Kō Ngāpuhi te iwi
Taunaha was born, raised and educated in Kaikohe, attending Kaikohe West School, Kaikohe Intermediate School and Northland College where she was Head Girl in 1993. After High School, she went to Waikato University and completed a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Maori Resource Management. During her time at University, Taunaha served in the New Zealand Army as a Territorial Soldier.
After University, (mid-late 90’s) Tauhaha worked at the Far North District Council in the Environmental Services Department monitoring Resource Consent applications & Council By-Laws. After a year a new role was created for me as Maori Liaison Officer which saw me dealing with complex Maori Land Resource issues at a Local Government level. This served Taunaha well as she was able to utilise my degree in this role working and liaising with whanau, hapu and iwi, helping and assisting them by setting up avenues of consultation between them and Local Government, she worked in this role for 4½ years.
Next on her list of things to do was doing her OE. I travelled to the UK and found employment with Vodafone UK and an old private members Military Club in London. On her return to New Zealand Tauanaha worked at the Bay of Islands i-SITE in Paihia as a Customer Service Consultant.
Since Nov 2005 to the present, Taunaha’s main role now was being a fulltime mum to 4 boys, until she joined Blah Blah Marketing 2 years ago as a consultant, working on many projects.
Jules Hargrove, Diploma in Business
Jules was born and bred in the Bay of Islands and went to school in Kerikeri.
After leaving school studied at Northtech Whangarei and gained a Diploma in Business Studies, before going on to train as a Comprehensive Nurse. Jules then worked in the Paediatric Ward at Base Hospital before heading to the UK.
where she spent 10 years in London working for Nursing Agencies and in various other health-related businesses.
Jules travelled around Europe and met her now husband. They decided they would travel before having a family, they came back to the Bay of Islands just to visit, absolutely loved it and never left. Jules was a full time with two kids for the 10 year – while also running a lifestyle block which has a menagerie of different farm and domestic animals, and running their storage and warehousing facility in central Kerikeri.
For the last 2 years, Jules has been working at Blah Blah Marketing as a cruise ship Ambassador, at events and also doing marketing and sales calls.
Kelly is a great combination of hospitality, farmer and flight attendant, so very versatile!
Growing up in Christchurch Kelly left school and worked in hospitality in hotels (mainly front desk), then Kelly spent 5 years as a flight attendant flying long haul to Australia, Pacific Islands, Asia, US, UK & Europe, where she met hubby who was also a flight attendant, they had kids and started farming!
Kelly’s hospitality and flying career have ensured she has some of the best customer service and organisational skills you will see, put this with 16 years of farming and parenting and she is a great asset to our team.
For the past 2 years, Kelly has been working with us on events, as a cruise ship ambassador and also gets out and about on site with us for a variety of marketing projects.
Some of the events in Blah Blah Marketing portfolio
Bay of Islands Waka Festival – inaugural event – 2017- and s the cond event coming up in March 2018.
Bay of Islands Walking Weekend
Bay of Islands Beast Street Party – 2016 – 2017
Paihia Christmas Parade – Since 2004 – and every year since!
Paihia Summer Festival (10 day event) 2005 – and every year since!
Russell Birdman Festival – 2013 – 2017
‘it’ Bay of Islands Food & Wine Festival – 2010 – 2017
Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Fun Trivia Night 2014 – 2017
Catch ‘it’ Fishing Tournament – 2010 -2012
Bay of Islands Jazz & Blues Festival 2007 – 2008
Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival 2008
Bay of Islands Matariki Festival 2005 – 2009
Kerikeri Half Marathon Street Party – inaugural event in 2009 – 2013
Waipoua Forest Fun Run/Walk – inaugural event in 2008 – 2010
Kerikeri Ocean & Orchard Food and Wine Festival – inaugural event 2011
Russell Oyster Festival – 2011
Hell Hole of the Pacific – 2011 – 2012
Sweet As Music Festival 2011
One off events has been the marketing and promotion of the successful Launch of The Centre at Kerikeri, Kororipo Festival, and the re-launch of Haruru Falls Resort after the March flooding.