Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has told Checkpoint by the end of March government can give a date for tourists from visa waiver countries to come to NZ without isolation. He said by end of March there'll be "a level of clarity".
Nash said he acknowledges how hard tourism operators have done, and he is lobbying to see the border reopen to those visa waiver countries before July.
"This is the sector that we have spent the most money on of any in our economy over the last two years."
The government is looking to spend millions on tourism projects focused on celebrating the new Matariki holiday in June this year.
The $16 million contestable infrastructure fund is now open for new bids from councils for co-funded projects that small communities cant afford on their own.
But it comes against a back-drop of tourism operators on their knees begging for the immediate return of overseas visitors ahead of the government's scheduled partial reopening of the border to tourists in July.