28 May 2020

Tourism business in Queenstown, Taupō set to restart

5:44 pm on 28 May 2020

Two Ngāi Tahu Tourism jetboating attractions are set to reopen within weeks of cutting hundreds of jobs.

Shotover Jet in Queenstown.

Shotover Jet in Queenstown. Photo: 123RF

Ten of the company's 11 businesses were put into hibernation due to Covid-19.

Hukafalls Jet in Taupō will open this Saturday followed by Shotover Jet in Queenstown on 3 July.

Ngāi Tahu Holdings chief executive Mike Pohio said he was thrilled their jetboats were returning to the water after a surge in support and greater hope in the trans-Tasman bubble.

"We had always intended to reopen Shotover Jet and Hukafalls Jet earlier than our other businesses, so our recent staffing restructure took that into account," Pohio said.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai said the reopenings demonstrated the iwi's commitment to the tourism industry.

"We are delighted we are now in a position to reopen these businesses and we are looking forward to supporting the regeneration of tourism in Queenstown and Taupō, where our partners and the communities have been very supportive of us resuming operations," she said.

"The towns and regions in which we operate our tourism businesses are deeply important to us, so we are excited to return to these communities, to start welcoming manuhiri again and to share our amazing experiences with New Zealanders."

Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult was delighted Shotover Jet was reopening - he used to own the company.

"Shotover Jet is an iconic tourism business that represents innovation and adventure in our stunning natural environment," Boult said.

"I am confident Kiwis, and soon hopefully visitors from our trans-Tasman bubble, will jump at the opportunity to experience Shotover River canyons."

Both attractions will be open four days a week with a lighter schedule and limited passenger numbers to ensure social distancing.

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