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HomeGeneral TourismNgāi Tahu Tourism receives nearly $2m from STAPP funding

Ngāi Tahu Tourism receives nearly $2m from STAPP funding

Ngāi Tahu Tourism has received a total of $1.95 million in grants from the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme for four of its businesses, including the Dark Sky Project joint venture.

Franz Josef Glacier Guides and Hot Pools, Dark Sky Project in Takap≈ç (Tekapo) and the National Kiwi Hatchery in Rotorua each received $500,000, while Dart River Adventures in Glenorchy received $450,000. 

The two Franz Josef businesses were included in one application.

The grant funding is subject to the successful implementation of a funding agreement with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The funding for Franz Josef Glacier Guides and Hot Pools, Dark Sky Project and Dart River Adventures will be provided over 12 months, while the National Kiwi Hatchery grant will be provided over two years. Each of the businesses are also able to access a loan if required.

Ngāi Tahu Holdings chief executive Mike Pohio says he is delighted the attractions have received STAPP funding and is looking forward to working through the next steps with MBIE.

“This support will enable the reopening of Dart River Adventures, the National Kiwi Hatchery and Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools, which have been closed to the public since the nationwide lockdown in March. It will also enable us to expand our Franz Josef Glacier Guides and Dark Sky Project operations.

“Most importantly the funding will help us provide more employment in small communities, such as Franz Josef, Glenorchy and Takap≈ç, which rely heavily on tourism.”

Dark Sky Project board chair Graham Kennedy says the company is thrilled to have support from STAPP to continue offering world-class stargazing and astronomy experiences in Takapō.

In early July, Dark Sky Project reopened its Crater Experience, retail store and access to Ōtehīwai Mt John with limited hours.

Franz Josef Glacier heli hikes also resumed in a limited capacity before the school holidays, with Franz Josef Glacier Guides providing guiding services to The Helicopter Line.

More information about the reopening of Dart River Adventures, the National Kiwi Hatchery and Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools, and the expansions of Franz Josef Glacier Guides and Dark Sky Project operations, will be known in the coming weeks.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism did not make any other STAPP applications.

Due to the significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ngāi Tahu Tourism announced in early May that 10 of its 11 businesses would be paused and its workforce would be reduced.

Since then, Hukafalls Jet in Taup≈ç and Queenstown’s Shotover Jet have also reopened, with reduced hours and operations. Hollyford Track will reopen in January. Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters in Queenstown remained open.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism businesses that are currently open:

  • Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters, which also operates Queenstown Snowmobiles
  • Hukafalls Jet
  • Shotover Jet
  • Dark Sky Project
  • Franz Josef Glacier heli hikes (with Franz Josef Glacier Guides providing guiding services to The Helicopter Line)
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