2 Aug 2020

Chatham Islands gets government funding for coronavirus recovery

1:27 pm on 2 August 2020

The government will spend almost $40 million helping revitalise the Chatham Island's economy, which has been hard hit by the pandemic.

View of Tupuangi, situated along the point, looking from Maunganui where survivors ran to safety

Government funding aims to boost tourism in the Chatham Islands. Photo: Kristie-Lee Thomas

The majority of the funding will be spent on Tuuta Airport, with $36m invested in the runway, allowing larger planes to land.

A further $2.15m has been allocated for projects to boost the regional economy through aquaculture, tourism and infrastructure.

About $1.7m will go towards developing shellfish aquaculture farms and $500,000 will fund a new tourism manager.

The grant will also support a new museum and efforts to bring mobile phone coverage to the island.

Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones said the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the islands, halting crayfish and blue cod exports and preventing livestock and wool sales.

The islands had lost about $20m in revenue and unemployment had increased to about 30 per cent, because of the pandemic.

It was hoped the funding boost would attract more tourists to the Chatham Islands.

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