Dave See Flickr
Photo by Dave See - Flickr

More funding support for trail facilities and Matariki

The government is stepping in to support local communities build up tourism facilities through a new funding round, with a special focus on Matariki commemorations.

“As we prepare for the return of international tourists and increasing numbers of Kiwis returning home, we are aware of the pressure many communities faced from visitor numbers prior to the global COVID19 pandemic,” said Tourism Minister Stuart Nash.

We are standing beside local communities to co-fund important tourism infrastructure that many small towns and districts cannot afford by themselves.

“From boat ramps to scenic coastal walkways, essential wastewater treatment plants, wharves, park and ride facilities, innovative solar-powered rubbish bins, campsite kitchen and toilet blocks, the fund has so far helped build assets with $76.3 million funding support,” Stuart Nash said.

“I encourage local councils to put real thought into the infrastructure they want as part of a growing focus on the significance of Matariki. I hope to see them being creative with their applications for funds,” said Associate Tourism Minister Peeni Henare.

Ideas could involve redeveloping council reserves to include safe stargazing areas with low-impact lighting and shelters. It might see upgraded walkways and interpretive signs around important food-gathering sites for local iwi, like wetlands, historic gardens, forests, rivers and the ocean.

“Matariki will be our first public holiday that recognises Te Ao Māori and will be an occasion that is uniquely ours, starting this year on 24 June. Now is the time to start planning to promote it to the world,” said Peeni Henare.

If you know any trails that share a mīharo view of the sky and Matariki but are just missing connectivity, restrooms or other facilities — now is the time to chat to local iwi and the community to encourage local council applications.

Applications are now open to all councils and close on 28 March.

For more information about the Tourism Infrastructure Fund, visit Hīkina Whakatutuki, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).