Cath and Rhys van Sitter have been managing Lake Rotoiti Hot Pools as our onsite managers since 2012.
Cath was born and raised in Rotorua. She is the youngest of four children and was raised in Owhata, one of the eastern suburbs of town. After completing her schooling in Rotorua she packed her bags to further her studies in Auckland which is where she met her knight in shining Armour, Rhys.
Rhys, being a true blue Westie from the heart of the Waitakere’s in Auckland, wooed Cath with his “style and charm” and the two of them returned to Rotorua to make it their home.
After the birth of their daughter, Cath decided to follow her passion for cooking and trained to become qualified at what she already did so well. Cath went on to own and operate a catering company, which saw her traveling the length and width of the North Island, feeding the masses with her delicious food. 10 years on, Cath became restless with this lifestyle and decided to take on the à la carte world. Moving through the ranks in one of Rotorua’s top-rated restaurants proved to be a massive challenge and one she seriously enjoyed.
As the children headed into their teens, Cath came upon the opportunity to manage Lake Rotoiti Hot Pools. Despite her love for cooking, the decision to put down her knife and pick up a hose at the pools was an easy one, as it enabled her to be closer to her family during those important years.
Rhys has always worked hard to support his family and left his background in construction behind following their move from Auckland to become the lead dispatcher at Ramsey Roundwood in Rotorua. After being made redundant through Carter Holt Harvey he found himself as the new Maintenance Manager at the (then) Duxton Hotel in Okawa Bay on the shores of Lake Rotoiti. It was while he was working at the hotel that Cath decided to take on the Hot Pools. At this point, it became apparent that holding down full-time work while also supporting Cath in her role as manager of the pools was becoming difficult. Rhys’ contract came up for renewal at the hotel and he turned it down so that he could assist at the hot pools. In February of 2016, Rhys was offered a full-time role to aide in the exciting renovation and rebuild, as well as ongoing work as manager and caretaker.
Cath and Rhys are, with great enthusiasm, working their 8th season here at Lake Rotoiti Hot Pools and are looking forward to seeing what this new season will bring.