$46,000 GRANT TO LIGHT THE SPECTACULAR POHUTU GEYSERTourism
Tourism Minister Lockwood Smith today announced a grant of $46,000 to the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute (MACI) to provide permanent night lighting for the Pohutu Geyser at the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve in Rotorua.
"The Pohutu and other geysers at Whakarewarewa are icons of New Zealand tourism. The image of Pohutu exploding is surely one of the most widely known images of New Zealand," said the Minister.
"With the proposal to light these spectacular natural features, the management and Board of MACI have provided increased opportunities for our international tourists to enjoy the wonders of this magnificent place. Evening viewing will provide a whole new experience for visitors."
MACI management report that the operating hours of the Reserve will be extended accordingly.
Dr Smith said that many similar cultural and natural features overseas were using appropriate lighting to provide tourists with a unique, enjoyable and educational experience, and that MACI management will extend the operating hours of the Reserve once the new lighting is installed.
"The planning for the project is being undertaken as part of the preparations for the millennium celebrations that will be staged at the Whakarewarewa 31. The grant, from the Tourism Facilities Grants Programme, will allow the otherwise temporary lighting to be permanently installed. It is anticipated that the permanent facilities will be completed by the end of January 2000," Dr Smith said.
"I am told that the harsh environment of the thermal reserve has precluded installation of permanent lighting previously but this has now been overcome.
"This is good news for MACI, for Rotorua and for New Zealand," Dr Smith concluded.