Working with local government to improve tourism infrastructure

  • Hon Kelvin Davis

Improvements to the criteria for the Tourism Infrastructure Fund will allow more communities to share the benefits of tourism, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today.

The changes will see a broader range of projects funded, and faster decisions that will deliver essential tourism infrastructure to communities and visitors sooner.

“The Tourism Infrastructure Fund supports local government to better manage the pressures from visitor growth. We’ve run two successful rounds, but the initial criteria put barriers in the way for some councils. These changes remove those barriers and will improve how the Fund works,” Kelvin Davis said.

Changes to the criteria include:

  • Lowering the minimum funding threshold from $100,000 to $25,000
  • Streamlined decision making by allowing the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to make decisions up to $1 million
  • Certainty around timing of funding rounds, which will now open on 1 March and 1 August each year
  • The ability for the assessment panel to consider operating and maintenance costs for up to two years when they assess applications

The criteria changes followed a review conducted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Local Government New Zealand, which heard from 34 councils from around the country.

“I asked for this review, because I want government to be an enabler to tourism and the regions,” Kelvin Davis said.

“The feedback from councils made it clear we needed to improve the criteria. We’ve listened and now more communities will benefit.

“We are committed to making sure everyone benefits from tourism, and this is one way we can help communities get the best from tourism growth.  We’re looking to do more as a part of the draft Tourism Strategy, which is now out for consultation,” Kelvin Davis said.

Note to editors:

  • The Tourism Infrastructure Fund provides $100 million over four years in co-funding for the development of visitor-related public infrastructure such as toilets, carparks, freedom camping facilities and sewerage and water works.
  • Round three funding applications will be open from 1 March 2019.
  • So far, $33.8 million has been awarded to 80 projects from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund over two funding rounds. Projects funded range from $103,500 for enhancements to Hannaford’s Wharf in Coromandel to $5.71 million for the construction of a new land-based wastewater disposal system at Te Anau.
  • The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Local Government New Zealand will be running roadshows around the country in November to bring councils up to speed on the changes to the fund. The full set of changes to the funding criteria, can be found on the MBIE website.