Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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South Island areas prioritised in tourism fund – Nash

Five South Island areas are prioritised in the latest round of decisions from a tourism fund that is supporting infrastructure projects from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island and the Chathams.

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced details of 57 nationwide projects to receive support from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

In April it was announced the TIF would prioritise Fiordland, South Westland, Queenstown Lakes, Mackenzie District, and Kaik≈çura, where tourism has been most affected by the absence of international visitors. 

“The five South Island areas were heavily reliant on international tourism. Domestic tourism is experiencing a boom as Kiwi travellers embrace the call to ‘do something new’ but these South Island regions are still doing it tough,” Nash says.

“Government funding for these projects will provide much-needed local employment while borders are tightly controlled to keep us safe from COVID-19. The new tourism facilities will also help local councils prepare for the return of visitors in greater numbers.

“Tourism projects in the five regions will receive $10 million from a total pool of $18 million in this funding round. The projects share a common theme of enhancing popular lakefront and beachfront facilities to improve the visitor experience.  

 “Upgrades to public assets on the lakefront at Queenstown, Glenorchy, and Wanaka will improve facilities for boaties, pedestrians, cyclists and tourism operators.

“Lakefront infrastructure at Te Anau and Manapouri in Fiordland also receives support, such as boat ramps and access roads, as well as much-needed further funding for the Te Anau wastewater project. The Southland District Council also successfully applied for support for tourism projects on Stewart Island/Rakiura.

“The iconic lakes of Mackenzie District are recognised as significant tourism destinations. There is new funding for upgraded carpark and toilet facilities at Lake Pukaki and Lake Ruataniwha, as well as camping facilities in Fairlie.

“In Westland, a new boat trailer area and visitor parking will be built at the remote and spectacular Jackson Bay south of Haast, and the visitor carpark next to the Franz Josef heliport and township will be upgraded.  

“Kaik≈çura’s strong connection to the sea will be enhanced with an upgraded pathway along the foreshore from the Esplanade past the seal habitat at Point Kean, allowing the community to tell its own stories of ‘life on the edge’.

“In the past few months I have travelled to all five of these regions and spoken to mayors and other leaders about what is needed to help the communities adjust. This tourism fund is just one of a number of initiatives designed to keep up the momentum of recovery, and we remain focussed on supporting local jobs and businesses in future decisions.

“Nationwide, 57 projects are funded in this TIF round. They range from wifi-connected smart bins along Paihia and Russell waterfronts, to a new toilet block at Tokomaru Bay Wharf, a new cycle hub in Alexandra, and the development of the Hokitika beachfront.

“The Tourism Infrastructure Fund supports local communities under pressure from tourism, especially those with small ratepayer bases. This year it is funding a great range of new and upgraded facilities, which will make a difference to locals, Kiwis exploring their backyard, and international travellers when our borders open further,” Nash says. 

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