Regions eye $1 billion provincial fund

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

A $1 billion regional development fund has been promised by the new government, though more details are yet to be unveiled, it's hoped some of that fund will be invested into Māori tourism in the regions.

Māori tourism is almost non-existent in Hawke's Bay but Hawke's Bay Māori Tourism want to change that.

Hawke's Bay Māori Tourism New Zealand Trustee Peter Eden says, "For Hawke's Bay it's very important it's building for a future a future for Māori for rangatahi for kaumatua its providing an opportunity for growth, economic growth within our region."

Hawke's Bay Māori Tourism New Zealand Toro Waaka says, "We need to be thinking about how we can create our own things rather than and how we can create career paths for ourselves," says  Toro Waaka.

The new government has announced a $1 billion a year regional development fund, with money already earmarked for rail investment and planting 100 million trees a year.

Eden says, "Hopefully through that economic fund that Māori is seen as a major contributor to economic growth I suppose the tourism sector there is huge growth in that sector in coming forward and we're wanting to be a part of that with that package hopefully some of that resource is targeted at Māori."

Waaka says when creating a strong Māori tourism industry the environment needs to be taken into serious consideration.

"We're a country that is pushing this pure brand when really we're in a lot of trouble and we're going to see that soon and Māori are being very vocal about that, the clean issues the water issue," says Waaka.

Figures show that international visitor participation in Māori tourism activities has increased by around four percent in the last three years.