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I would like to begin by thanking each and every one of you here today. You play a hugely important role in the tourism system in Aotearoa. Without all of you creating authentic, high quality visitor experiences, tours and packages across the country, we wouldn’t have the visitor economy we enjoy today.

Our plan is to make sure the benefits of tourism are realised for our country and our people, while managing the impacts. Today I’m very pleased to announce the latest part of that plan. The Government will be investing nearly $12 million in co-funding from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund to help 25 councils around New Zealand make the most out of the opportunities tourism can bring.

The Year of Tourism is an important opportunity to showcase the depth of our people-to-people connections. It’s a time to reflect on our relationship, share in each other’s culture through travel and look to the future, strengthening our already deep ties.

I’m proud to be here today announcing the Government’s investment, through the Provincial Growth Fund, in two key Whangarei tourism projects.

It is my pleasure to be here with you all this morning, at the inaugural Tourism Policy School conference. It’s fantastic to see the University of Otago assemble such a distinguished audience from across the tourism sector.

I am delighted to officially open the 63rd New Zealand Motor Caravan Association National Rally and Annual General Meeting.

I’m proud to be standing here today, as both Tourism Minister and Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau, to announce the Government’s investment, through the Provincial Growth Fund, in these key Far North projects.