The allocation of Government funding of $44 million to clean up 100 New Zealand rivers and lakes is a good start to improving fresh water quality but a lot more needs to be done, Tourism Industry Aotearoa said.
“Clean, fresh water is essential to many of our most iconic adventure tourism activities, including rafting, kayaking, jet boating and fishing. TIA is a long-term member of the Land & Water Forum and has continually highlighted the importance of high quality fresh water for our industry,” TIA chief executive Chris Roberts said.
“We are pleased to see the Government taking this step towards improving our lakes and rivers but we are keen to see it go even further. As we said in our submission to the Ministry for the Environment’s Clean Water consultation document earlier this year, we are not convinced the Government’s $100 million Freshwater Improvement Fund will be enough to bring about the required improvements.”
TIA’s Tourism Election Manifesto, Tourism for Tomorrow, calls on the Incoming Government to demonstrate a serious commitment to protecting the environment, recognising its importance to tourism. This includes a commitment to enhancing New Zealand’s fresh water resources.
TIA is currently developing strategies to support the tourism industry’s commitment to environmental, economic and social sustainability, with a launch planned at the Tourism Summit Aotearoa in Wellington on November 14.
“New Zealand’s natural environment is our most important tourism product. It’s the main reason why international visitors come here, it’s important to domestic travel and it supports thousands of tourism businesses. We look forward to working with the new Government to reach these goals,” Mr Roberts said.