Taitokerau Northland leaders request further support for Tourism and Hospitality industries
Taitokerau Northland tourism and hospitality businesses had endured months of lack of access to the domestic market leading into the summer season and this disruption to trade will be hard to overcome without further intervention in the way of support from sources outside the region.
Regional leaders Far North Mayor Hon. John Carter, Northland Inc Chair Nicole Anderson, and industry leader Riki Kinnaird represented a regionally united front when they presented a support request in a meeting with Ministers Nash and Davis earlier this month, which included six actions that would support businesses through central government intervention.
As the regional tourism organisation and economic development agency, Northland Inc is in full support of Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s statement to extend the $49m Tourism Kick-start Fund from the five South Island regions it was originally tagged for, to all regions throughout the country, including the hard-hit Taitokerau Northland. The Fund was announced in May 2021, and recently activated with the announcements of international borders opening. Northland Inc Chair Nicole Anderson says “The disruption to business operation due to border closures was felt across the country and this type of support would be well received anywhere, especially by our Taitokerau tourism and hospitality whānau. This Fund is consistent with the request we had tabled with Ministers – our businesses need help, your help, to get through to next season.”
The request for Taitokerau Northland industry support tabled with Ministers also includes innovative partnership activity that could create legacy learning outcomes for the region and government. Owner of The Duke of Marlborough and destination management plan leadership advisory group member, Riki Kinnaird, says this is about problem-solving now and for the future, “The Taitokerau Northland Education Programme designed by industry, trade, Queenstown Resort College and supported by Ministry of Education and Northland Inc, is a professional development course focused on dual heritage and partnership themes that is delivered in-region during the off-season, allowing locals to bring those stories alive at place. We are inviting all central and local government staff to take part in this experience that we believe will not only support our businesses but set us up for a better future as a nation.”
Like much of the country, domestic visitors travelling during school and public holidays have kept the Taitokerau Northland tourism and hospitality businesses operating to a certain degree and the international border opening announcements have been well-received. Far North Mayor Hon. John Carter says now is not the time to become complacent regarding the reality for businesses, stating some support is still necessary while visitor flows settle in over the coming months. “While we are moving in the right direction in terms of access to market, we don’t expect to see a sudden influx of international visitors that will plug the gap for businesses. We want to continue to work together to support our industries to keep operating until trade stabilises in the coming years. Partnership is a strength in our region, and we will keep strengthening these ties.”
Extending the Kick-start Fund to all regions and the six-point support request for Taitokerau Northland tourism and hospitality businesses would provide businesses with direct financial support and ability to grow business through schemes like the Taitokerau Northland Education Programme.
For more information:
Hannah Mackay – Communications Specialist
M: 021 1777 110