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Keeping people coming to The Last Resort

SMARTpak, is an insurance package for SME businesses and exclusive to Crombie Lockwood. It helped The Last Resort get back on their feet faster in the wake of a set-back.

Located in Karamea on the West Coast of the South Island, The Last Resort has been a mainstay for trampers since it opened in the 1980s, offering accommodation for those starting out or finishing up their time on the Heaphy track - one of the country's Great Walks.

It’s a part of the world that has attracted visitors from far and wide – including The Last Resort’s current owner, Maggie Seeman, who describes the area as “a slice of paradise.”

Maggie’s connection to Karamea stretches back to 1980s when she first walked the Heaphy Track. She moved to the area in the 1990s before a stint working in the Middle East. After returning to New Zealand in 2014, it wasn’t long before Maggie was lured back to Karamea’s verdant rain forest.

“I came out of the desert, and wanted a job working in the bush. I went to a company to propose to them to be a tour guide and it turned out they were selling.”

Maggie purchased the company, Bush and Beyond, leading walking tour groups from Golden Bay to Karamea every week, with her treks always finishing with a night’s stay at The Last Resort.

When the opportunity to buy the resort came up in 2021, Maggie didn’t look back.

resort reception

“Without having this [SMARTpak] cover in place, we would have been out the door. It’s given us that cover that we needed to survive, and re-position The Last Resort to make the most of the amazing location.”

 Maggie Seeman, Owner, The Last Resort

Dealing with the unknown

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing in paradise, though. Eighteen days after taking over the reins at The Last Resort, New Zealand entered a Covid-19-enforced lockdown, which forced Maggie to shut her doors for three weeks.

Then in February 2022, two storms hit the area, initially closing roads, and eventually closing the track and destroying an access bridge, all of which impacted Maggie’s business significantly.

Despite the setbacks, having insurance cover in place provided Maggie with a lifeline.

Crombie Lockwood Nelson broker, Sharlene Friend, helped Maggie navigate two business interruption claims under her SMARTpak cover – a market-leading insurance solution available for small to medium enterprises in New Zealand.

Maggie says, “Without having this cover in place, we would have been out the door, really. It has given us what we needed to survive, and re-position to make the most of the location.”

Sharlene Friend says: “SMARTpak and Crombie Lockwood are here to help businesses deal with the unknown. Maggie was just absolutely gobsmacked at the outcome of her claims. It was such a major help to her business.

“SMARTpak provides what we call ‘blanket cover’, which basically means the policy responds to the actual amount of the loss up to $1,000,000. It helps get people back into the same financial position they were in before they suffered a loss, by providing a safety net if they are unintentionally underinsured.”


A brighter future

Maggie says having business interruption cover in place “has allowed us to keep trading and keep people working. We've also been able to focus on restoring some of the accommodation, which we normally might not be able to attend to because we're so busy.”

With access to the Heaphy Track still restricted by the lack of a bridge near Karamea, Maggie says The Last Resort is adapting.

“It's just about reconfiguring to showcase what we can offer people who want a relaxing break in a beautiful location. We’re taking international bookings now for as far out as 2026, so I think things are going to come right for us. And there's nowhere better for people to come than New Zealand, and Karamea.”

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Published November 2022

Claims      SMARTpak