3 Feb 2023

Government invests $3m to boost Waitangi Treaty Grounds

2:35 pm on 3 February 2023

Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

The government has ringfenced a one-off $3 million investment to support the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said the historic site is a key visitor and tourist attraction in Northland.

She said the money will help the treaty grounds - and wider Northland economy - recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

"Pre-Covid, over 113,000 visitors visited the Treaty Grounds and nearly 10,000 students were able to learn about the grounds by visiting.

"It's clear that Waitangi is the Northland region's single greatest attraction which is why this investment will ensure the trust are fully equipped to care for the Treaty Grounds for future visitors, students and generations to enjoy."

Carmel Sepuloni

Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni. Photo: RNZ/ Samuel Rillstone

The government calculates tourism accounted for approximately 10 per cent of the region's employment and 7 per cent of the region's GDP pre-pandemic.

"We also know that strong tourism in the regions means greater support for hundreds of businesses.

"Tourism spending in the region was in excess of $1.1 billion pre-Covid, and this is something we want to continue to grow and nurture, Sepuloni said.

"Cruise ships have started to return to the Bay of Islands, and visitor numbers are gradually starting to increase. Supporting the trust will help them to make the most of the return of tourists and contribute to the Northland economy."

The $3m will be given to the Waitangi National Trust Board that maintains the estate.

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