It is not known what strategic management advice Mark Nizette has provided regarding the business management of Kokoda tourism since he was appointed to the position in 2011 from the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) however under his watch since then:

  • There has been no investment in the protection, development and interpretation of major battle sites across the Trail to enhance the value of the pilgrimage for trekkers or to increase income earning opportunities for traditional landowners;
  • No environmental interpretation signs, common in Australia’s National Parks, have been placed anywhere along the 138 km Trail to enhance the educational aspect of the trek;
  • No management systems are in place which results in chaos across the Trail during peak trekking periods;
  • It is not possible to book a campsite anywhere across the Trail;
  • No support has been provided to campsite owners to assist them to meet the needs of trekkers;
  • There is not a single toilet across the entire Trail that meets the most basic hygienic needs of trekkers;
  • There is no trek itinerary management system in place which denies villagers the opportunity to generate additional income by meeting the needs of trekkers as they have no idea who or when groups will be arriving;
  • No ‘Trail Maintenance Plan’ has been implemented to provide employment for villagers;
  • No micro-business initiatives to assist villagers to earn additional income by meeting the needs of trekkers have been introduced;
  • Not a single one of the five key strategies or 33 objectives of their KTA Strategic Plan: 2012-2015 was achieved – it has since been quietly shelved.

There is overwhelming evidence that the term ‘Kokoda’ has been effectively hijacked to provide relevance to the engagement of environmentalists, anthropologists, archaeologists and social engineers in areas related to social mapping, village livelihoods, gender equity, ecosystems services options, capacity building, and mentoring beyond the gazetted borders of the Kokoda Trail.