Confirmation of funding from the latest Tourism Infrastructure Fund round has enabled Council with ratepayer support to sign-off on the $5m budget for the Ohakune Water Treatment Plant upgrade project.
Council is celebrating receiving $4.1m in TIF funding toward upgrading of the Ohakune Water Treatment Plant ($3,991,370) and undertaking a feasibility study looking at developing a Waste Water Treatment Plant ($115,500) to serve both Ohakune and Raetihi.
Mayor Don Cameron says that Council wanted to thank the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for this financial support which is critical to these projects getting off the ground.
"Tourism growth from both domestic and international visitors to Ruapehu has been increasingly significantly in recent years which has ultimately stretched the capability of our core infrastructure," he says.
"The MBIE and the Tourism Infrastructure Fund through its co-investment in Ruapehu tourism projects has played an invaluable role in enabling Council to play a pro-active role in support of the government’s growth and development agenda for provincial New Zealand.
This has included funding toward regional destination marketing, branding, spatial planning, public toilets, the Sky Waka gondola, Ohakune Carrot Park, National Park Village Park and Ride, Water and Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrades.
Council would also like to thank Ngati Rangi for their support and advice which has been invaluable in developing the proposal seeking funding for the joint Ohakune/Raetihi Waste Water Treatment Plant feasibility study."
Mayor Cameron said that the TIF funding highlights government’s commitment to supporting local communities to cope with rising visitor pressures and the need to have facilities, core infrastructure and systems that will support sustainable visitor growth.
In addition to providing benefits to the local community these projects play an important part in Council’s approach to tiakitanga by providing services that allow people to visit Ruapehu while minimizing their environmental footprint.
"Ruapehu looks forward to continuing our work with MBIE as we partner to develop regional tourism with the goal of increasing visitor expenditure from the current $200m to $400m by 2028 and adding 1000 new job," he said.