A $10.88 million grant will see wharves in earthquake-ravaged Kaikōura revitalised to help promote and access the town’s world-famous marine attractions.
The majority of the Provincial Growth Fund grant, $9.88 million, will be spent on the Wakatu Quay Development, a new tourism destination to include dining, retail and local cultural elements which is designed to improve the links between the town and its ocean environs.
The remaining $1 million will be used to look into the potential for development of South Bay Harbour and surrounding areas.
Announcing the grant, regional economic development spokesperson Fletcher Tabuteau said: “This is a great time to support tourism and business opportunities in the Kaikōura region as they turn around economic and environmental struggles following the devastating earthquake in 2016.
“Tourism is one of Kaikōura’s largest employers and main industries. The Kaikōura Marina Development Programme begins the process of increasing the tourism destinations available in Kaikōura.
“The development programme is projected to create up to 50 new jobs and up to 100 indirect new jobs in the wider Kaikōura region.”
Mr Tabuteau said both projects aligned with Canterbury’s regional visitor aims of a strong focus on sustainable growth in tourism.
“The purpose of the Wakatu Quay redevelopment will mean visitors can take in the beauty of the surrounding scenes including the Seaward Kaikōura Range,” he said.
“The PGF boost will also provide the foundation for the future development of South Bay Harbour which is currently the launching site for the marine eco-tourism operators, commercial fishing sectors and recreational users.”
The earthquake struck Kaikōura just after midnight on 14 November 2016 and was followed by a tsunami rising to almost 7 metres above tide level. The 7.8 magnitude quake resulted in two fatalities, far fewer than during the lesser magnitude Christchurch event in 2011, but created widespread destruction totalling billions of dollars, including serious damage to road, rail and seafront infrastructure