“Waitomo was a big winner in last weeks announcements to ensure that a network of tourism products are supported to recover in this post Covid world.
The caves are just outside my electorate in Te Tai Hauāuru but they are a natural wonder and a taonga for our people.
The local hapū are also critically involved in the tourism experiences in Waitomo were employing local people is critical to the range of ancillary benefits to the community.
Millions of people have visited the Caves over the years. Besides the glowworms, there is now a great Museum and if you are feeling adventurous you can have a go at black water rafting inside the caves.
We will be investing $4 million dollars in Discover Waitomo which is big employer and generator of wealth in our Waikato region to keep it going.
In this post-Covid-19 world we had to act fast but this announcement will mean that the Caves complex will be able to retain a highly-skilled workforce with a very specific set of skills and experience.
We also announced a Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme which will provide up to $20.2 million for other New Zealand’s Regional Tourism Operations.
This money will go to a small number of operators where the flow-on benefits sustain broader economic and employment opportunities in an area and region.