National's Tourism 'Peanuts" Way Short Of $1.4B Needed
Yet again National is throwing only peanuts to councils trying to pay for urgently needed infrastructure to cope with huge numbers of tourists, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament, Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“The $5.5 million Tourism Minister Paula Bennett announced today does not scratch the surface of the $1.4 billion that Local Government New Zealand says is needed for such things as new toilets, freedom camping facilities and parking.
“National made a song and dance about giving councils $12 million last year through their Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund.
“They were flooded with applications for the funding and were short by $10 million.
“The least Ms Bennett could have done was provide that $10m; not half the amount.
“Councils and businesses in the tourism industry will be greatly disappointed by the minister’s response when they note that the government took $1.5 billion in GST from international visitors in the year to March 2016.
“This was up on the $950m they received the previous year,” says Mr Peters.