Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
Member of Parliament for Northland
9 NOVEMBER 2016
More Tourism Funding Should Be Going to Councils
Tekapo and Mackenzie District ratepayers will feel miffed and angry that the government has given $3 million to privately owned Earth & Sky Astronomy Centre at Tekapo while they have to pay for much needed tourist toilets, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“The Mackenzie District Council applied for government funding for new toilets but had to jump through so many hoops, and the need was so urgent, they went ahead and built the toilets themselves at a cost of $950,000.
“That has meant other work in the district had to be put back a year.
“Mackenzie District is not alone; many other councils with a small ratepayers’ base are struggling to provide toilets and other infrastructure for the large influx of tourists.
“All the government has provided is $12 million spread over four years which the councils will have to scrap over.
“The government has collected $1.1 billion in GST from international tourism – more of that money should be going to councils to assist with their infrastructure demands and not private enterprises,” says Mr Peters.