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RTNZ weighs in on Tourism Infrastructure Fund

Published: Wed 12 Sep 2018 10:54 AM
Regional Tourism New Zealand (RTNZ) welcomes today’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund $19.3 million investment in tourism infrastructure but cautions this is not the long term fix the industry needs.
RTNZ Executive Officer, Charlie Ives says the grants will go some way to facilitating the development of much needed tourism infrastructure that visitors and the communities can use. But, there is still much to be done to ensure New Zealand’s tourism offering is properly future proofed through well considered and planned infrastructure projects that will serve the sector well over the next 10 to 20 years.
The funding has been granted through the second round of the $100 million Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF) and has been spread across 31 Councils and community organisations.
“This funding is no doubt welcome relief for Councils and communities who know they need to provide better visitor facilities but simply don’t have the money sitting in the ratepayer base to build and maintain them. Increasingly, Councils and Regional Tourism Organisations are becoming destination managers and providing tourism infrastructure is one of the top priorities for them.
“While the funding will definitely be put to good use, we would like to see more cross co-ordination between the government funds available to the sector. We have the TIF and the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) but our fear is these are just band aid short term fixes to longer term funding issues.”
“What we want to have is a decent conversation with the government about the introduction of regional levies that would provide Councils with a constant funding mechanism for tourism infrastructure, as well as, the often over looked ongoing maintenance of these facilities. Its all very well providing one-off funding to build toilets and carparks but they need to be maintained and kept clean and these costs generally fall to the local Councils long after the initial funding has been spent."

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