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New Zealand - Peter Besseling

Profile of the Bailli Délégué

Peter was a founder member of the Bailliage of Wellington when the Chaîne started in New Zealand’s capital city in 1989.

At the age of 22 he wanted to see the world and as a result finished up in New Zealand in 1969 from the Netherlands.

Having trained and worked in the hospitality industry, in 1973 he opened New Zealand’s first bodega-style wine bar offering his customers a large selection of wines by the glass, accompanied by ploughman’s platters and cheese boards.

Building on this early success he owned and operated a small chain of restaurants for a decade or more before holding senior manager positions at hotels both in New Plymouth and Wellington over the next 20 years.

Currently he is a senior academic staff member at the Wellington Institute of Technology where he teaches young people food and beverage service. This includes training the students for competitions as well as wine appreciation and the evaluation of crafted beverages.

Being associated with the hospitality industry has given Peter great satisfaction and allowed him to meet people from all over the world. He believes that the Chaîne is the one organisation that allows him to be in the company of like-minded people who are passionate about life and living.

As a hobby, Peter and his partner Lyn, breed alpacas at their “lifestyle block” farm, Pebble Mountain.

Peter says, “These amazing animals captured our hearts about ten years ago and they keep us busy and entertained every spare moment. Easier to run than sheep, they are intelligent and relatively low maintenance. Over the years we have slowly increased our stock numbers, which currently stand at thirty. Native to Peru and Chile they are split into two breeds Huacaya’s and Suri’s. In our operation we deal solely with the Huacaya’s as they are easier to deal with on a day-to-day basis. The national herd in New Zealand is relatively small and stands at approximately 24,000 animals.”