The Government needs to move quickly and provide certainty on future funding for the Tourism Infrastructure Fund, National Party Tourism Spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.
“At the height of the tourist season, the Government is not prioritising decisions on the infrastructure funding the industry needs,” Ms Dean says.
“They have made no decisions on the future of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund, or whether Councils will have access to the multi-billion dollar Provincial Growth Fund for investing in tourism infrastructure.”
Ms Dean says the previous Government’s fund is already proving its worth.
“Recent announcements from the fund include car parking and walkway enhancements to Lake Tekapo’s Church of the Good Shepherd, safer access to Omanawa Falls near Tauranga, car parking around Gisborne tourist attractions and assistance for Great Rides of Nga Haeranga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail.
“These sorts of investments in partnership with local councils help us sustain the growth in New Zealand’s biggest export earner. Yet Minister Davis admits he hasn’t yet met Local Government New Zealand to discuss the future of tourism infrastructure.
“Tourism is one of the biggest industries across regional New Zealand. Its growing 8 per cent year on year. It’s a logical candidate for money from the Provincial Growth Fund.
“But there is no need to re-invent the wheel. The previous Government’s tourism infrastructure model is working well. It just needs more of the available funding to keep doing the job.
“The Minister should act now to provide certainty to the industry and to local Government.”