Region to benefit from $10m boost for Maori tourism

Tourism ventures and 2019 First Meetings event to receive a portion of $17 million tourism funding boost.

Tourism ventures and 2019 First Meetings event to receive a portion of $17 million tourism funding boost.

File picture

EAST COAST tourism appears to be the region’s main winner in the Government’s Budget announcements yesterday, with Maori tourism ventures and the 2019 First Meetings event set to receive a portion of a $17 million tourism funding boost.

At least three areas here will likely benefit from announcements to boost New Zealand Maori Tourism by $10m, alongside an additional $2m reallocation of funds to grow Maori enterprises and create jobs in regional New Zealand, and a $5m funding package for the First Encounters 250 programme.

“Maori tourism operators will be able to create new employment opportunities for whanau with $10 million of operating funding over four years in this year’s Budget,” Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell said.

The funding boost in Budget 2017 for New Zealand Maori Tourism — Te Tapoi Ararau — will allow it to extend existing support to build the capability and capacity of Maori tourism operators.

“A programme to showcase Maori historical tour trails to be piloted in East Coast/Bay of Plenty will be funded. It will be a boost for the region and we hope tourists, both domestic and international, will take the chance to learn a little bit more about our past.”

Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said the announcement was “great news” .

“It’s great that Minister Flavell is leading the way and backing Maori tourism development, which is a big plus for our region.”

NZ Maori Tourism chief executive Pania Tyson-Nathan said the new funding would provide support to accelerate the business growth trajectory of emerging Maori tourism experiences and enhance regional and inter-regional tourism.

“This funding will help Maori tourism operators on the East Coast and around New Zealand by providing support to accelerate business growth, leverage Maori story-telling to enhance East Coast tourism and provide support for Maori tourism operators to make international connections.”

That work would be in addition to work being done in the same space by Activate Tairawhiti and Te Puni Kokiri.

“We work closely with Te Puni Kokiri and other government agencies on a range of initiatives that help to grow and support Maori tourism businesses, and we will continue to do so.”

The Government will also provide a further $5 million of operating funding over the next three years for the First Encounters 250 programme to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the first meetings of Maori and Europeans when James Cook and Polynesian navigator Tupaia first circumnavigated and landed in 1769.

“This new funding, which takes the total Government investment to $8.5 million, will ensure a special and accessible commemoration across the landing sites in 2019 that acknowledges the impact of that first meeting for all New Zealanders,” Culture Minister Maggie Barry said.

The $5m is earmarked for a waka hourua and voyaging event, the October 2019 opening ceremony in Gisborne Tairawhiti, education resources, project management and events at each landing site, and for setting up a First Encounters 250 team at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Although the region would have to wait and see how much funding came to the region, Te Ha 1769 Sestercentennial Trust chairman Richard Brooking said he was encouraged by the news.

“This core funding gives us more certainty for planning and supporting a successful commemorative programme.

“This is pleasing after the huge input from our trustees and other community volunteers over the past few years. It will allow us to move forward together on this important kaupapa.”

EAST COAST tourism appears to be the region’s main winner in the Government’s Budget announcements yesterday, with Maori tourism ventures and the 2019 First Meetings event set to receive a portion of a $17 million tourism funding boost.

At least three areas here will likely benefit from announcements to boost New Zealand Maori Tourism by $10m, alongside an additional $2m reallocation of funds to grow Maori enterprises and create jobs in regional New Zealand, and a $5m funding package for the First Encounters 250 programme.

“Maori tourism operators will be able to create new employment opportunities for whanau with $10 million of operating funding over four years in this year’s Budget,” Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell said.

The funding boost in Budget 2017 for New Zealand Maori Tourism — Te Tapoi Ararau — will allow it to extend existing support to build the capability and capacity of Maori tourism operators.

“A programme to showcase Maori historical tour trails to be piloted in East Coast/Bay of Plenty will be funded. It will be a boost for the region and we hope tourists, both domestic and international, will take the chance to learn a little bit more about our past.”

Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said the announcement was “great news” .

“It’s great that Minister Flavell is leading the way and backing Maori tourism development, which is a big plus for our region.”

NZ Maori Tourism chief executive Pania Tyson-Nathan said the new funding would provide support to accelerate the business growth trajectory of emerging Maori tourism experiences and enhance regional and inter-regional tourism.

“This funding will help Maori tourism operators on the East Coast and around New Zealand by providing support to accelerate business growth, leverage Maori story-telling to enhance East Coast tourism and provide support for Maori tourism operators to make international connections.”

That work would be in addition to work being done in the same space by Activate Tairawhiti and Te Puni Kokiri.

“We work closely with Te Puni Kokiri and other government agencies on a range of initiatives that help to grow and support Maori tourism businesses, and we will continue to do so.”

The Government will also provide a further $5 million of operating funding over the next three years for the First Encounters 250 programme to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the first meetings of Maori and Europeans when James Cook and Polynesian navigator Tupaia first circumnavigated and landed in 1769.

“This new funding, which takes the total Government investment to $8.5 million, will ensure a special and accessible commemoration across the landing sites in 2019 that acknowledges the impact of that first meeting for all New Zealanders,” Culture Minister Maggie Barry said.

The $5m is earmarked for a waka hourua and voyaging event, the October 2019 opening ceremony in Gisborne Tairawhiti, education resources, project management and events at each landing site, and for setting up a First Encounters 250 team at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Although the region would have to wait and see how much funding came to the region, Te Ha 1769 Sestercentennial Trust chairman Richard Brooking said he was encouraged by the news.

“This core funding gives us more certainty for planning and supporting a successful commemorative programme.

“This is pleasing after the huge input from our trustees and other community volunteers over the past few years. It will allow us to move forward together on this important kaupapa.”

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